HL Deb 07 February 1867 vol 185 cc79-80

presented a Bill for establishing courts of arbitration or conciliation for the settlement of disputes between masters and workmen. It is necessary, the noble Lord remarked, to take some steps for preventing the strikes which are so detrimental to our industry and manufactures. To put a stop to a strike by law, when once it has commenced, is perfectly impossible, because a state of war is then established between the master and his workmen, and this can be terminated by nothing but victory on the one side or the other. If, however, courts of conciliation are established, there can be no doubt that they will be freely resorted to, and that their action will tend both to prevent and to arrange disputes. Under the Bill which he proposed to introduce, leave will be given to the masters and men in every district to establish such courts; but it will not be compulsory upon them to do so, nor even to submit to their jurisdiction when they are established. If, however, either masters or men do attend them, and do refer their disputes to them, then the decision pronounced by these tribunals will have judicial force and would be enforceable by law. The principle of the Bill has received the approval of a deputation of operatives representing 100,000 men engaged in the building trades of the metropolis, who had an interview with him a short time ago.

A Bill to establish equitable Councils of Conciliation to adjust Differences between Masters and Operatives—Was presented by The Lord ST. LEONARDS; read 1a. (No. 3.)