HC Deb 24 June 1954 vol 529 cc581-3
35. Mr. R. Harris

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will institute an inquiry into the recent unrest, demonstrations and strikes which have taken place among certain firemen in the Glamorgan County Fire Brigade.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

I understand that the question which gave rise to these troubles is under consideration through the machinery of the National Joint Council for Local Authorities Fire Brigades, and I should prefer to make no comment on this aspect of the matter.

Mr. Harris

Will the Home Secretary bear in mind that although the dispute in Glamorgan has now been settled, thanks to some very resolute and courageous action by the county council, what has happened there has raised some very serious problems? It has now been definitely established that the Fire Brigades Union, by threats of physical violence, can stop firemen from turning out to fires? Does not he think that this would be very dangerous in a national emergency, and that urgent action is required by him? All this will be repeated in the Lancashire Fire Brigade, and possibly others.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

I still think that it would be better for me not to make any comment on this matter.

Mr. Mellish

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the hon. Member for Heston and Isleworth (Mr. R. Harris) is the general secretary of a break-away firemen's union?