HC Deb 21 December 1966 vol 738 cc361-2W
109. Mr. Goodhew

asked the Minister of Labour what plans he has for the employment of more than 200 people who had given up jobs in other parts of the country, and many of whom had purchased houses in the Hemel Hempstead area, to enable them to take up employment with the Thomson Organisation Limited on the two daily evening papers which were to be launched in West Hertfordshire and South Bedfordshire by that organisation.

Mr. Gunter

If difficulties of this nature arise we shall do everything possible to assist those who seek our advice about other employment.

Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Minister of Labour if he will intervene in the trade dispute between Thomson Newspapers and the printing unions, with a view to finding a mutually acceptable solution, thus preventing staff redundancies and ensuring the provision of an evening newspaper in Bedfordshire.

Mr. Gunter

I have had discussions with the management and with representatives of the two unions concerned. While I regret the threatened abandonment of the proposal to publish two local newspapers and the consequent loss of employment opportunities, it has not so far been possible to agree on working arrangements acceptable to the two unions concerned.