HC Deb 13 April 1927 vol 205 cc373-4W

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether the opposition by the representative of the British Government on the executive committee of the International Labour Office at the session held at Geneva at the end of January last to the discussion of the question of limitation of hours worked by officers and men of the mercantile marine represents the official policy of the Government;

(2) whether he is aware that over 500 vessels, from 2,000 to 5,000 tons, owned by over 100 different shipowning firms, carry only two navigating officers, and are therefore worked on the two-watch system; and whether, under these circumstances, the opposition of the Government to the discussion of hours of labour at sea at Geneva will be withdrawn?


The attitude taken up by the representative of His Majesty's Government on the governing body of the International Labour Office on the question of hours of labour at sea was in accordance with the instructions of the Government, which is of opinion that such part of that question as requires to be dealt with should be settled nationally by agreement between employers and employed before commencing an international discussion. I am aware that a certain number of ships are worked on the two-watch system, but I have no official figures showing the exact number.