HC Deb 07 February 1961 vol 634 cc192-3
19. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is yet in a position to state the result of the consultations between the Governor of Malta and Messrs. Baileys regarding the number of workers in each trade there employed and unemployed, respectively, in connection with the Malta dockyard for each year since it was taken over by Messrs. Baileys, and up to the latest convenient date.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The total labour force in the dockyard when it was handed over to Messrs. Baileys in March, 1959, was 6,300. The company informs me that, for commercial reasons, it does not wish detailed figures to be disclosed, but that the average number employed at present is 5,750.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Secretary of State agree that employment conditions in Malta are difficult? Would it not be better to bring out the full facts so as to confront these problems with a view to solving them? Will he do that and give me all the figures for which I have asked?

Mr. Macleod

No, I can remember many times when I was Minister of Labour refusing a similar request by hon. Members of this House. It is quite common practice for firms, for very good reasons, not to go into too great detail in these matters, but the difference between these two figures is in fact accounted for by normal wastage and there have been no discharges at all in this period, except an occasional one for misconduct.

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