HC Deb 11 November 1954 vol 532 cc1384-5
22. Sir R. Acland

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has any further statement to make on the strike in the ship-repairing industry.

Sir W. Monckton

I understand that the exchanges between the parties, to which reference has been made in replies to earlier Questions, are still continuing, and, in the circumstances, any further comment by me at this stage would be inappropriate.

Sir R. Acland

Does the Minister appreciate that this strike is going on and on over a very small issue which is dividing the people concerned? If he cannot do anything at official level, is it really impossible for him or his advisers to take some action of a less spectacular kind to hasten a conclusion?

Sir W. Monckton

I am very anxious not to take any spectacular action, and while the parties to the dispute are having exchanges, I think I had better wait until either one or other of them calls on my services, which they know are available.

Mr. Daines

Is not the Minister aware that the men have receded quite a long way from their original position of "Last in, first out," and that only the pigheadedness of the employers is holding things up?

Sir W. Monckton

I do not think I shall achieve much if I attribute blame to one side or the other.