§ Lieut.-Colonel WILLEY
asked the Minister of Labour what progress has been made by the international agreement on the part of foreign countries possessing substantial wool textile industry towards putting into effect the compulsory treatment of certain scheduled wool and hair fibres?
§ Mr. SHORTT
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply. The compulsory disinfection of dangerous wool was considered at the International Labour Conference at Washington in 1919 by the Committee on Unhealthy Processes, who reported that international action was urgently required, and asked the Conference to intervene by means of a Convention. This Report was unanimously adopted by the Conference, but when the matter came up for further consideration at the International Labour Conference at Geneva last autumn, the Commission to which it was referred reported that while an important advance 2221W had been made by the British Government towards the solution of the problem of satisfactory disinfection, the question of universal compulsory disinfection had not yet been sufficiently studied to justify the conclusion of a Convention. The Commission therefore recommended that the Governing body of the International Labour Office should be requested to appoint representatives of the chief producing and manufacturing countries to serve on an advisory Committee, which should examine the question in all its bearings, and that the Committee present a report in time for consideration by the Conference in 1923, and that meanwhile the proposal for a Convention should be postponed. This recommendation was adopted by the Conference, and I am informed that at its last meeting the governing body agreed to the appointment of the proposed Committee, and that the necessary steps are being taken for this purpose. Acting on a suggestion of the Commission the governing body have invited the British Government to nominate the chairman of the Committee, and I understand the Committee will include representatives of the Dominions which are chiefly concerned.