asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is yet in a position to give a reply to the request made to his Department, on 26th March last, on behalf of the locally-entered clerical staffs at Malta, for their claim for war bonus to meet the increased cost of living in Malta to be referred to the arbitration tribunal?
Is not the Minister aware that unions have a right to go to arbitration on matters of this kind whether the Department agrees or not? Is he aware, secondly, that the Government pledged themselves when this agreement was made for arbitration that cases would be referred to arbitration within one month, and will he take steps to see that the establishment division conforms to the agreement made by the Government with the Civil Service organisations?
I think my hon. Friend will agree that there is not very much to be gained by going to arbitration before the reply is received from Malta, because that reply may mean that no need for arbitration arises.