§ Mr. CULVERWELL
asked the Minister of Labour whether be will make a further statement to show what are the differences in the application of the International Labour Convention on the marking of weights on heavy packages; and what is the present position of the negotiations?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
The Committee of Experts appointed by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office to examine the application of international labour conventions has reported in the following terms: "General observation.—The Committee notes that Article 1 of the Convention, under which the indication of the weight must be given on any package or object of 1,000 kgs. or more gross weight, is not applied in the same way in all the countries which have ratified the Convention. This fact is expressly pointed out in the reports of two Governments and has been confirmed by the examination which the Committee has made of the 1240W reports and of the national legislation. In some cases the legislation covers "packages" without mentioning "objects"; in others— and this point has already engaged the attention of the Committee last year—the Convention is not applied to goods rolled in series, such as rails, to standardised foundry products or to tree-trunks, the reason advanced to justify these exceptions being that it is here a question of goods transported in bulk. In the majority of countries, on the contrary, the provisions of the Convention are applied both to "packages" and to "objects" and no exception is allowed for specified objects. Without having any doubt, for its own part, as to the comprehensive scope of this provision of Article 1, the Committee feels that it should draw the attention of the Governing Body to the divergent interpretations which are given to the provision in question."
Authority was given recently by the Governing Body for the transmission of the report to the International Labour Conference this June, when it will no doubt be considered by the Conference.