HC Deb 17 February 1914 vol 58 cc792-3W

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the manager of the Canning Town Labour Exchange is using this Exchange as a strike-breaking agency, by sending builders' labourers to Mr. J. Carmichael's works, Silvertown, E., who is one of the London master builders that locked out all his employés because they would not sign an agreement to work with non-union men under a penalty fine of 20s., and that to be deducted from their-weekly wage; that the green cards given out by the manager to the men were dated 3rd February, Order No. 28, and were signed by Frank S. Deatal, manager; and if he intends stopping this method of assisting the employers?


I have inquired into this-case, and find that the manager of the Canning Town Labour Exchange carefully warned any applicants for employment at the firm mentioned of the existence of a dispute, although, as a matter of fact, the trade union concerned had neglected to-file a notice of the dispute at the Exchange in accordance with the statutory regula- tions under the Labour Exchanges Act. The regulations were therefore fully complied with by the manager. Whether, in the light of experience the present regulations bearing on this subject need any, and, if BO, what amendment, is a question of some difficulty on which I am proposing to consult the Advisory Committees for Labour Exchanges, which, as my hon. Friend is aware, represent in equal proportions employers and workmen. As my hon. Friend is aware, these Regulations were framed after careful and prolonged consultation with the representatives of employers and workmen, and were also confirmed by Parliament. He will therefore agree with me that any change ought only to be made after equally careful consideration of its effects, bearing in mind the essential condition that the Labour Exchanges should be striclty neutral in matters of dispute between employers and workmen.