§ Mr. RAFFETY
asked the Minister of of Labour how many joint industrial councils are now in existence and what are their forms of activity; how many new joint industrial councils have been formed within the past year; and are steps being taken to increase the number and activity of these councils?
§ Mr. SHAW
The number of National Joint Industrial Councils now in existence is 70, and there are, in addition, many district councils in active operation. In the case of 27 national councils, no recent meetings have been held. For information as to the forms of activity of the councils, I would refer the hon. Member to the Report of the Ministry of Labour on the Establishment and Progress of Joint Industrial Councils. A summary of the contents of this Report were published in the "Labour Gazette" of August, 1923, a copy of which I am sending to the hon. Member. No new council was established during the past year. As the hon. Member will realise, the difficult circumstances through which the industries of this country have been passing have effected the strength of organisations, and have made more difficult the formation of further councils. Moreover, the industries 2731W in which joint voluntary or statutory machinery has been established already cover a large proportion of industrial workers. The establishment and effective operation of Joint Industrial Councils is dependent upon the organisation of employers and workers, and it is hoped that, as organisation improves, further councils will be established. I can assure the hon. Member that my Department will always be prepared to give all proper assistance to this end.