§ Sir E. CORNWALL
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether there have been any Labour disputes at any of the Midland collieries during the past three months, and, if so, at which collieries; what amount of working time has been lost; and whether he has taken any special steps recently to have disputes between employers and employed settled by means of conciliation boards or arbitration so as to prevent resort to strikes, lock-outs, or stoppages of any kind during the War?
In reply to the first part of my hon. Friend's question, four disputes involving stoppages of work have occurred at collieries in the Midlands during the period July to October, with an aggregate duration of about 21,000 days. The colliery companies concerned were: Lord Dudley's Baggeridge Colliery Company, the Wollaton Collieries Company, and the Staveley Iron and Goal Company. As my hon. Friend will be aware, there are Conciliation Boards in existence in the coal trade, and such Boards have been very successful in presenting stoppages of work. I should add that the services of the Chief Industrial Commissioner's Department are always at the disposal of the parties for the settlement of disputes, and the Department are dealing with a very large and increasing number of cases.