asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been called to the failure of the Dunfermline Powerloom Manufacturers to pay the rates fixed by the Linen and Cotton Trades Board; whether he is aware that the female workers employed by that association are paid at least 1d. per hour less than the minimum fixed; and whether he is prepared to take steps to have the decisions of the board carried out by the manufacturers in question?
The suggestions as to underpayment contained in my right hon. Friend's question appear to be in substantial accordance with the facts. The employers in question, however, contended that they were not affected by the determinations of the Linen and Cotton Handkerchief Trade Board. As I could not accept the interpretation put upon these determinations by the employers, I invited them to have the question settled by means of an agreed test case in the Scottish Courts. I regret that this invitation has been refused. I propose now to take independent action to test the legal point at issue.