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International Labour Conference (Industrial Relations)

Volume 440: debated on Thursday 17 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Labour why the British Government's delegation to the I.L.O. voted against an amendment which sought to protect workers who were members or officials of a trade union from being discriminated against; and whether this conforms with the Government's policy.

The Amendment in question was limited to the narrow question of nondiscrimination against members or officials of trade unions in Non-Metropolitan Territories. The United Kingdom Government representative expressed the complete agreement of His Majesty's Government with the principle of the proposed Amendment. The matter is, however, being considered by the International Labour Conference in a wider context with a view to comprehensive provision being made on all aspects of freedom of association and industrial relations in a general Convention or Conventions, and the inclusion of this provision in a Convention limited to Non-Metropolitan Territories might have prejudiced the wider discussions. Moreover, the Amendment in the form in which it was put forward would have given rise to considerable difficulties in application and its acceptance might, therefore, have imperilled the passage of the Convention in question or, if passed, its ratification. For these reasons the United Kingdom representative considered the proposal to be undesirable in connection with the Convention in question, but he made it quite clear that the United Kingdom Government would make its full contribution to the drafting of a comprehensive and workable general Convention on this subject.