Imported Joinery.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 23rd June 1931.

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Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

13.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will appoint a departmental committee to consider the present operation of the system by which imports of joinery are regulated by an unofficial committee with the professed object of seeing that the goods are not produced under unfair labour conditions, and to examine whether it attains that object in a proper manner?

Photo of Mr William Graham Mr William Graham , Edinburgh Central

I am informed that the unofficial committee to which the hon. and gallant Member refers was set up in pursuance of an agreement between the National Federation of Building Trade Employers and the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers 10 years ago, and I am aware of no circumstances which would appear to call for the investigation of this voluntary arrangement.

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, in the case of the four Soviet companies importing joinery into this country, there was no sort of inquiry whatever, but the committee simply took the assurance from the Russian companies?

Photo of Mr William Graham Mr William Graham , Edinburgh Central

I am not familiar with that point. The original question is confined to the point whether there should be investigation.

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of joinery come into the country under the assurance that fair wages are given?

Mr. MACLEAN:

Since the investigation committee in this industry is composed of employers and trade union representatives, does not the fault lie equally with the employers for whom the hon. and gallant Gentleman speaks?