§ Mr. W. THORNE
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the Croydon tramway employøs have been out on strike for the past five weeks; if he is aware that the employøs have agreed to submit their case to an arbiter for settlement; if he is aware that the mayor and a number of aldermen and councillors have agreed to arbitration, but, in consequence of the tramway committee refusing arbitration, the strike is still going on; if he is aware that the majority of trade unions have agreed to have all their disputes settled by arbitration during the 2121W war period; and will he insist upon the Croydon tramways committee having the dispute settled by arbitration?
The Chief Industrial Commissioner has been in communication with the parties to this dispute both before and after the stoppage of work occurred. I understand that the men intimated their willingness to agree to the reference of the matter to arbitration, but that the committee of the corporation dealing with the matter was not prepared to advise the town council to concur in the matter being so determined. I would remind my hon. Friend that the Department has no authority to insist on arbitration in this case. The Chief Industrial Commissioner is communicating further with the corporation.