HC Deb 16 July 1953 vol 517 cc2234-5
23. Dr. Jeger

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the Medical Supply Association, Limited, Park Royal, has declared seven men to be redundant without making prior use of the facilities offered by his Department; that this firm has refused to accept the offers of his conciliation officer to mediate in the industrial dispute that followed; and why his Department is supplying replacement labour to this firm.

28. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that an industrial dispute exists at the Medical Supply Association, Park Royal, N.W.10; and what steps he is taking to bring the parties together.

Sir W. Monckton

Yes, Sir. I am aware of the circumstances of this dispute. My officers have been in touch with the firm and the trade unions, but I regret that it has not been possible to find an acceptable basis for a settlement. Their services are, however, still available to the parties.

As regards the submission of workers to this firm, the one man who has been placed there since the employment exchange became aware of the dispute was, in accordance with long established practice, informed of the existence of the dispute before he was submitted by the exchange.

Mr. Robinson

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether the firm is still insisting that no dispute exists, on the grounds that all the union members of the staff have now been dismissed? Does he really think that this stiff-necked attitude on the part of the firm can possibly be justified in present-day circumstances?

Sir W. Monckton

I was not aware that the allegation was being made that there was not a dispute. I do not know whether a distinction has been drawn between a dispute and a difference. At any rate, I shall do my best to reduce the stiffness of necks on all sides.

Mr. Sparks

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that this factory is located in the heart of a very large industrial area, and that the attitude of the management in absolutely refusing the good offices of his Department is causing a good deal of feeling in other factories round about, and is not conducive to good relations in the industry? Will he therefore press the matter a little further, with a view to trying to get a settlement?

Sir W. Monckton

I hope that the attention called to this matter by the Questions asked by hon. Members may enable my conciliation officers to have a chance to do this.