Oral Answers to Questions — Manchester Dock Strike (Resumption of Work)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th June 1951.

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Photo of Mr Edward Hardy Mr Edward Hardy , Salford East 12:00 am, 7th June 1951

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Labour if he has any statement to make about the strike at Manchester Docks.

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Blyth

I am glad to say that the men resumed work this morning and that the Port of Manchester will thus be able to function again. This strike has achieved no useful purpose, but the men and their families have suffered serious loss and hardship. The community has also, of course, suffered heavily.

In the circumstances, I have given instructions for all the facts to be assembled and a close study made of them. It seems to me important to establish how it came about that the men were induced, against the advice of their union, to take strike action in breach of agreement for declared objects which were not only impossible of achievement but were detrimental to their interests and to the interests of dock workers as a whole.

Photo of Mr Edward Hardy Mr Edward Hardy , Salford East

When this inquiry has taken place, will my right hon. Friend publish the result in the form of a report?

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Blyth

I shall certainly give that suggestion very favourable consideration.

Photo of Mr Reginald Bevins Mr Reginald Bevins , Liverpool Toxteth

Is not the cause of this dispute perfectly clear to the right hon. Gentleman? Why does he not take the action against the unofficial leaders which was recommended by the Leggett Committee?

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Blyth

It seems to me that the action I have already decided to take is the appropriate one in the circumstances.