§ 15 and 16. Mr. Wade
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General (1) whether he is now in a position to announce the result of his consideration of outstanding claims for recognition by Post Office associations;
370 (2) whether he is now in a position to give his decision on the claim for recognition made by the Engineering Officers' (Telecommunications) Association.
§ 20. Mr. Marlowe
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he is now in a position to announce a decision with regard to the question of the recognition of the Engineering Officers (Telecommunications) Association.
§ 41. Mr. Peter Freeman
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he will make a statement concerning the recognition of the Engineering Officers (Telecommunications) Association.
§ Mr. Gammans
I would refer the hon. Gentlemen to my answer to a Question by the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) on 15th July.
§ Mr. Wade
Having regard to the proximity of the Recess, can the hon. Gentleman indicate when a statement will be made? Secondly, in the case of an association such as that mentioned in my Question, which would appear to have had a very strong claim for recognition for a number of years, and whose claim has been supported so outspokenly by Members of Her Majesty's Government, does it not seem hard that they should be kept in suspense so long? Should they not be told as quickly as possible whether or not justice is to be done?
§ Mr. Gammans
In reply to the hon. Gentleman's first point, in my answer to the hon. Member for Rugby I said that my noble Friend hoped to make a statement very soon. For this purpose "very soon" means, I hope, next week. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will wait until he gets the answer to this point before I comment on the second matter which he raised.
§ Mr. Marlowe
Is my hon. Friend aware that a year ago the Postmaster-General said that a decision would be announced within six months, and so it is now six months overdue and many of us are getting very impatient? Is he also aware that, after this long delay, the answer had better be favourable, because many hon. Members on these benches are pledged to ensure that these people 371 receive recognition and the Government will have a very uncomfortable time if they do not?
§ Mr. Gammans
With regard to the question of delay, as my hon. and learned Friend is aware, this is a matter concerning trade unions generally and what we have been trying to do is to get an amicable settlement rather than to call upon the head of the Department to impose a settlement, and I consider that ample justification for the delay.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
Ought not the hon. Gentleman's hon. Friends to give him time, especially as a vote of censure was put down against me for taking exactly the same attitude that the hon. Gentleman is now taking?