HL Deb 15 July 1936 vol 101 cc870-1

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.


My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now resolve itself into Committee on this Bill.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Templemore.)


My Lords, I want to take this opportunity of asking the noble Lord opposite, Lord Templemore, if he can give us any further information with regard to the question raised here and elsewhere about the Jarrow steel works. I understand that a very important deputation was received by the President of the Board of Trade yesterday, and that further information was laid before the Government. I shall be glad to know if any conclusion has been reached. In asking this question I would like to make it clear that I realise that, as things have gone, it may be that the tide has been missed with regard to up-to-date steel works being immediately erected at Jarrow, although I hope that eventually that will be done. I am not pressing the Government on that point. What I want to ask is, whether in the circumstances, they are prepared to do anything else for Jarrow in view of the appalling state of affairs disclosed by the noble Earl, Lord Midleton. There is another question which I should like to ask, and on that I should like to have the particular attention of the noble Viscount the Leader of the House. If a similar set of circumstances arises elsewhere, have the Government realised that it is not fair to leave the decision in the hands of those whose own narrow, sectional interests may be directly affected? I think one lesson to be learned from what has happened at Jarrow is that you cannot rely on justice being done if the decision is in the hands of people who may fear that, if a rival concern is started in the next town, their workpeople and share- holders may suffer. There must be a higher authority, and I hope the Government will see that in the future that higher authority is provided by themselves.


My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble Lord for having given me notice yesterday that he was going to raise this important question. I am afraid I have not very much to add to what I said and what my noble friend the Earl of Dudley said to your Lordships two days ago. Your Lordships will be aware that a deputation to my right honourable friend the President of the Board of Trade was received by him yesterday. I understand that the proceedings lasted some two hours, and that my right honourable friend informed the deputation that the questions raised were receiving the most careful consideration of the Government. He also promised that the points that had been put forward by the deputation would be transmitted by him to his colleagues. I should like to quote what was said by the honourable member for Jarrow—Miss Wilkinson—who is a member of the Party to which the noble Lord himself belongs. She said to a newspaper reporter: "It was a most impressive deputation in every way. I have never listened to such an impressive case, and the Minister was most sympathetic." I understand that my right honourable friend is going to make a statement in another place to-night on the Board of Trade Vote, which is being discussed there. That statement, I understand, may not be made until nine or ten o'clock to-night, and I am afraid I am not in a position to anticipate what my right honourable friend will say then.


I am very much obliged to the noble Lord.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly:

[The EARL OF ONSLOW in the Chair.]

Bill reported without amendment.