Skip to main content

Dock Workers (Regulation Of Employment) Money

Volume 416: debated on Monday 19 November 1945

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Resolution reported:

"That for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to make further provision for regulating the employment of dock workers, it is expedient to authorise—
  • (a) the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of expenses of the Minister of Labour and National Service incurred in pursuance of the said Act;
  • (b) the payment into the Exchequer of receipts of the said Minister in respect of loans made under the said Act."
  • Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."

    9.57 p.m.

    I would like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour a question about this Resolution. I am anxious that it should not be drawn so narrowly as to preclude any discussion in the Committee, of what would be a vital aspect of the Bill. The Resolution in its present form authorises the payment of money for expenses incurred by the Minister in connection with the scheme, and the payment into the Exchequer of money received in repayment of loans. I do not want to embark upon any details of the matter, but the short point is that in this scheme of decasualisation of dock labour it may be found on investigation that, if the scheme is to work successfully, something more may be required than loans from the Chancellor of the Exchequer—if I do not upset the right hon. Gentleman too much by saying so. I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman, by the way, for staying here to listen to this point. I will not argue the case now, but the sort of argument which might be advanced would be that if a body of employers are taking over the responsibility of looking after men who would otherwise be unemployed, and especially if they are taking a burden off the Unemployment Fund, it would not be unreasonable for them to ask the Government to make some grant towards the scheme.

    Even more important, in the case of many of the smaller ports, the scheme undoubtedly will not work if the whole of the burden is to be thrown on the employers. I do not want to prejudge the merits of the matter one way or the other; but I suggest that it is a matter which should be open for discussion on the Committee stage. I, therefore, ask the Parliamentary Secretary to give an assurance that those words do include, and are intended by the Government to include, something other than loans, so that the matter can be discussed fully in the appropriate place.

    10.0 p.m.

    :I am sorry to have to disappoint the hon. Gentleman. This matter has been very fully considered, and this Resolution has been drawn so as to prevent any possibility of a discussion of grants. It was felt that if inducements were held out, we should have competing claims from various ports, even from those ports which were able to deal with loans. The matter has been very fully discussed, both outside the House and in the Department. I am advised that the Resolution has been drawn to exclude the possibility of a discussion of grants, either in the Committee or elsewhere.

    I am glad to hear that it has been fully discussed outside and in the Departments, but surely it ought to be discussed in the Committee of the House of Commons. That is the proper place to discuss it. It does not give us much satisfaction to hear that discussions have gone on with trade unions or with employers. It might well prove that, unless some provision was in the Bill, the preparation of a scheme would become quite impossible. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to withdraw this Resolution, to consider the matter afresh, and introduce a Resolution in terms wide enough to permit, at least, discussion in the proper place.

    The terms of the Resolution were known before the Second Reading of the Bill took place and this point was not raised then. It was anticipated that all the main objections would have been raised on Second Reading. The hon. Gentleman has raised a point about consultations outside the House. Surely it would have been wrong for the Minister to come to the House without having had some consultations. The House of Commons will decide and it is the view of the Minister, for whom I am speaking, that we cannot accede to the request that has been made.

    10.3 p.m.

    I confess that I rind great difficulty in following the hon. Member's argument. He started by saying that the Resolution had been drawn definitely to exclude any discussion on this subject. He is now trying to give the impression that, because the point was not raised on Second Reading, he had not troubled to make the Resolution such as to allow a discussion. I make a final appeal to hon. Members opposite. All we ask is that a chance should be given in Committee for a discussion of a subject of considerable importance, on which the Committee may well divide but which the hon. Gentleman has said has already formed the subject of discussion elsewhere. The Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot have any real fear for his purse. He knows that there is a sufficient majority in this House to vote down any Amendment which might be moved from this side, and which did not commend itself to the other side. There can be no question of our being able to force on the Chancellor an expenditure which he is not prepared to meet. Equally I can give the assurance that there is no intention on this side of raising the matter in an obstructive spirit or with any idea of delaying the progress of the Bill. All we want is a chance to ventilate this question, to hear it answered, and to see whether there is anything in it or not. The hon. Gentleman and his Ministry could not suffer at all by putting down a new Resolution in a form which would enable this important matter at least to be ventilated in Committee.

    Division No. 23.]


    10.5 p.m.

    Adams, Capt. H. R. (Balham)Gooch, E. G.Randall, H. E
    Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)Goodrich, H. E.Ranger, J.
    Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Granville, E. (Eye)Rhodes, H.
    Alpass, J. H.Grenfell, D. R.Robens, A.
    Awbery, S. S.Grey, C. F.Roberts, G. O.(Caernarvonshire)
    Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B.Grierson, E.Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
    Bacon, Miss A.Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)Rogers, G. H. R
    Baird, Capt. J.Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley)Sargood, R.
    Balfour, A.Hamilton, Lt.-Col. R.Scollan, T.
    Barstow, P. G.Hardman, D. R.Scott-Elliot, W.
    Barton, C.Hastings, Dr. SomervilleShawcross, Comdr. C. N. (Widnes)
    Benson, G.Haworth, J.Shurmer, P.
    Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)Hewitson, Captain M.Silverman, J. (Erdington)
    Bing, Capt. G. H. C.Holman, P.Simmons, C. J.
    Binns, J.House, G.Skeffington, A. M.
    Blenkinsop, Capt. A.Hoy, J.Skinnard, F. W.
    Blyton, W. R.Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester)
    Boardman, H.Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
    Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
    Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'p'l, Exch'be)Isaacs Rt. Hon. G. A.Snow, Capt. J. W.
    Braddock, T. (Mitcham)Janner, B.Soskice, Maj. Sir F.
    Brook, D. (Halifax)Jeger, Capt. G. (Winchester)Sparks, J. A.
    Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)Steele, T.
    Brown, George (Belper)Jones, A. C. (Shipley)Sunderland, J. W.
    Brown, T. J. (Ince)Jones, J. H. (Bolton)Swingler, Capt. S.
    Burden, T. W.Jones, Maj. P. Asterley (Hitchin)Taylor, H. E. (Mansfield)
    Burke, W. A.Keenan, W.Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
    Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)King, E. M.Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
    Callaghan, JamesLang, G.Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
    Castle, Mrs. B. A.Lee, F. (Hulme)Thomas, John R. (Dover)
    Champion, A. J.Levy, B. W.Thomas, George (Cardiff)
    Clitherow, R.Lindgren, G. S.Thorneycroft, H.
    Cluse, W. S.Lipson, D. L.Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.
    Cobb, F. A.Longden, F.Ungood-Thomas, Maj. L.
    Cocks, F. S.McAdam, W.Usborne, H. C.
    Coldrick, W.McAllister, G.Walkden, E.
    Collick, P.Maclean, N. (Govan)Walker, G. H.
    Collindridge, F.McLeavy, F.Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
    Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camberwell, N.W.)Mallalieu, J. P. W.Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)
    Corlett, Dr. J.Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)Watkins, T. E.
    Daggar, G.Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)
    Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.Marquand, H. A.Weitzman, D.
    Davies, Edward (Burslem)Marshall, F. (Brightside)Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
    Davies, Clement (Montgomery)Mathers, G.Wells, Maj. W. T. (Walsall)
    Davies, Ernest (Enfield)Middleton, Mrs. L.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
    Davies, Harold (Leek)Mitchison, Maj. G. R.Wigg, G. E. C.
    Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.)Montague, F.Wilkes, Maj. L.
    Deer, G.Moody, A. S.Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
    de Freitas, GeoffreyMurray, J. D.Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
    Diamond, J.Nally, W.Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
    Driberg, T. E. N.Neal, H. (Claycross)Williams, W. R. (Heston)
    Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)Noel-Buxton, LadyWilliamson, T.
    Dumpleton, C. W.Oliver, G. H.Willis, E.
    Durbin, E. F. M.Paget, R. T.Wills, Mrs. E. A
    Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)Paling Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)Wilson, J. H.
    Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Wise, Major F. J.
    Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T.Woods, G. S.
    Farthing, W. J.Peart, Capt. T. F.Wyatt, Maj. W.
    Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)Perrins, W.Yates, V. F.
    Foot, M. M.Popplewell, E.Younger, Maj. Hon. K. G.
    Foster, W. (Wigan)Porter, E. (Warrington)
    Gaitskell, H. T. N.Porter, G. (Leeds)


    Gibbins, J.Proctor, W. T.Mr. Pearson and Captain Michael Stewart.
    Gibson, C. W.Pursey, Cmdr. H.


    Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.Boyd-Carpenter, Maj. J. A.Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
    Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.Hogg, Hon. Q.
    Barlow, Sir J.Clarke, Col. R. S.Hollis, Sqn.-Ldr. M. C.
    Beamish, Maj. T. V. H.Cuthbert, W. N.Hope, Lt.-Col. Lord J.
    Birch, Lt.-Col. NigelDraysan, Capt. G. B.Howard, Hon. A.
    Bower, N.Fox, Sqn.-Ldr. Sir G.Hutchison, Lt.-Cdr Clark (Edin'gh, W.)

    Question put, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."

    The House divided: Ayes, 188; Noes, 54.

    Lindsay, Lt.-Col. M. (Solihull)Neven-Spence, Major Sir B.Stoddart-Scott, Lt.-Col. M.
    Linstead, H. N.Nicholson, G.Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
    Low, Brig. A. R. W.Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.Thorneycroft, G. E. P.
    Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.Orr-Ewing, I. L.Turton, R. H.
    Macdonald, Capt. Sir P. (I. of Wight)Pitman, I. J.Vane, Lt.-Col. W. M. T.
    Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H. R.Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.Wakefield, Sir W. W.
    Maitland, Comdr. J. W.Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.Walker-Smith, Lt.-Col. D.
    Manningham-Buller, R. E.Raikes, H. V.Wheatley, Lt.-Col. M. J.
    Marples, Capt. A. E.Ramsay, Maj. S.Williams, Lt.-Cdr. G. W. (T'nbr'ge)
    Marshall, Comdr. D. (Bodmin)Sanderson, Sir F.Young, Maj. Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
    Maude, J. C.Shephard, S. (Newark)
    Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)


    Mott-Radclyffe, Maj. G. E.Stanley, Col. Rt. Hon. O.Mr. Drewe and Mr. Studholme.