31 Mr. W. M. ADAMSON
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether any approach has been made to the Government representatives at Gibraltar for a reduction in the port or other duties of the harbour by the importers and exporters of coal; if such request has been sanctioned or refused; and whether it has affected the present coalheavers' dispute;
(2) what number of Moors were brought to Gibraltar during the recent dispute in in the coaling industry; and if approval was given to relax the rule under which permits are necessary for those working or living in Gibraltar;
(3) whether he is aware of the coal-heavers' dispute at Gibraltar; how long it has been in operation, the amount of reduction sought by the employers, if any efforts have been made to bring about a settlement or if either side have requested arbitration, or if any of the Government representatives have been advised to use their influence for a friendly settlement?
§ 34. Mr. DUNCAN
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is 1500 aware of the present methods employed in the setting on of men engaged as coalheavers at Gibraltar; and whether he will make inquiry into the question with a view to instituting the brass-check system, with a view to the decasualising of labour, on the same lines as are in operation at various large ports in this country?
§ Mr. AMERY
The coalheavers and trimmers employed by the Gibraltar coal merchants have been on strike since the 1st February as the result of a proposed reduction in wages, the amount of which I am not able to state. The employers have imported Moorish labour. I cannot say in what numbers nor whether the Colonial Government have been asked to relax any rules for this purpose. The Colonial Secretary of Gibraltar has taken an active part as intermediary between the employers and men. I regret that the information at my disposal does not enable me to deal with the other points raised in the questions, but I am asking the Governor for a full Report, and in doing so will draw his attention to the suggestion made in the question asked by the hon. Member for Clay Cross (Mr. Duncan).