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London Dock Strike

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 9 May 1961

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what estimate he has made of the loss caused to the export trade by the recent London dock strike.

We have lost some export trade, but my right hon. Friend can make no estimate of the amount. Nor can he estimate the damage caused by delays in deliveries to overseas customers for the second time within six months.

Is it not the case that when it is working the Port of London is an efficient port? Can the right hon. Gentleman say what steps he is taking in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour to try to iron out the difficulties when a few men are obstructive and there is loss to the country as a whole?

The Rochdale Committee will be looking into all aspects of working at the docks, including management-labour relations.

Should not this strike illustrate to importers and business people the folly of concentrating so much traffic in the Port of London when they could make use of other ports in other parts of the country which have a better record of labour relations, including the South Wales ports and, above all, the Port of Barry?