My officers held a joint meeting on 11th May, and have since had many separate discussions with the parties. It has not been possible, so far, to find a basis for settlement of this dispute. I shall continue to keep in close touch with developments.
Does not my right hon. Friend think that the working conditions at this firm, under which an employee is required to work a basic 72 hours a week, denote a serious deficiency in our factory legislation? Would it not be correct to say that the actions of this employer should be reported to the Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers' Associations?
I am sure that the trade union involved will avail itself of that opportunity if it so desires. I would not like to comment on the conditions outlined by my hon. Friend as prevailing at these works. It seems that attitudes are being taken by both sides, and that it is rather difficult to get them together.