§ Mr. Fletcher-Cooke
asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the widespread consequences upon the economy of the current dispute in the printing industry; what machinery he proposes to use for the solution of this dispute; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
I am aware that the measures which have been taken by the respective parties to the dispute are likely to lead not merely to dislocation but to wide-scale stoppages within the industry, and these cannot but have a serious effect upon the life of the country. These measures will also make an ultimate settlement of the dispute still more difficult.
The view of the parties is that the official machinery within the industry's procedure for settlement of disputes has been exhausted, and they have not, to my regret, been able to agree on a reference to arbitration.
My officers have seen the parties to the dispute and have explored the possibilities of bringing them together. At the moment, it does not appear possible to do so with advantage. My officers are keeping closely in touch with the parties.
In the allied dispute in the printing ink industry, my officers have assisted in getting the parties together for a clarification of their respective view points, and this may lead to joint discussions next week.