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London Airport (Staff Employment)

Volume 481: debated on Wednesday 29 November 1950

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation whether, in view of the unofficial strike at London Airport, he will give an assurance that His Majesty's Government will abide by the pledge which he gave regarding the employment of ex-British South American Airways personnel at the time of the merger with the British Overseas Airways Corporation.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary assure the House that the Government will continue to give their fullest support in this first case of a nationalised industry's stand against the principle of the closed shop for a trade union?

In view of the serious nature of the dispute and its consequences if it develops—the Press states that medical supplies to Korea are already being held up—is the Parliamentary Secretary in the closest contact with the Ministry of Labour to try to settle this matter and maintain our air services?

The negotiations on the one hand have been conducted by the British Overseas Airways Corporation. It is their responsibility, and in this matter they have our fullest support.

Surely responsibility also rests on the Ministry of Labour. Is not the Minister in contact with the Ministry of Labour in this matter?

We are in contact with them, naturally, but if the right hon. Gentleman wishes to put down a Question about the activities of the Ministry of Labour he should address it to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour.

In view of the monosyllabic brevity of his answers, will the Parliamentary Secretary take all possible steps to call to the attention of those concerned in the present strike the intentions of the Government to try to get it settled as soon as possible?