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Industrial Relations (Commonwealth Countries And Colonial Territories)

Volume 644: debated on Wednesday 12 July 1961

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asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of his speech at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, when he spoke of the acute shortage of men with ability and experience in labour affairs, with special regard to developing countries, he will consider inviting more trade unionists from the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland to this country to study British labour relations under the auspices of his Department.

I have made places available on industrial relations courses for trade unionists from Commonwealth countries and Colonial Territories in Africa. I am shortly expecting nominations from them for the next course which will be held in the autumn.

While thanking the Minister for that reply, may I ask him to continue to bear in mind that in these developing countries labour relations are of the utmost importance and that it would be a great tragedy if the enormous potential of the Federation were to be undermined through inexperienced trade union leaders?

I very much agree with the hon. Member. That was the burden of the speech which I made in Geneva to which he referred.