HC Deb 16 February 1937 vol 320 cc1017-8W
Mr. G. Hall

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that a shorter working week is now being worked in the following coal-producing countries: France, Belgium, United States of America, and Russia, and is under consideration in other countries; and will he give a reason for the British Government's representative opposing the proposal that a tripartite conference of representatives, employers, and workmen should be held this year to consider the matter?

Mr. E. Brown

I am aware of the position in the countries mentioned. At the meeting of the Governing Body of the International Labour Office held earlier this month the following resolution was carried by 13 votes to 8, after a debate covering a wide fieldThat this Governing Body proposes calling a tripartite conference in October, 1937, on hours of work in mines, and that Governments be notified and asked for their observations. The reports received to be communicated to the Governing Body in May. The representative of His Majesty's Government did not oppose this resolution but abstained from voting upon it. On receipt of the relevant minutes of the Governing Body meeting His Majesty's Government will give careful consideration to all the points set forth therein and will then frame the observations to be made to the International Labour Office in accordance with the terms of the resolution.

Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Minister of Labour what is the present position in regard to the Geneva convention on hours of work in coal mines; and what action the Government propose taking in the matter?

Mr. E. Brown

The policy of His Majesty's Government in regard to the draft convention concerning hours of work in coal mines has been announced more than once and remains unchanged. Since the revision of the 1931 convention in 1935 the Government have always been prepared to ratify the revised draft simultaneously with the other Governments mentioned in the convention.