§ 39. Mr. SHINWELL
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can make any statement on the discussions at the Maritime Conference at Geneva on the draft convention on seamen's hours of work and manning; what other important countries voted with Great Britain against the convention; and what was the attitude of the British Dominions?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
His Majesty's Government were prepared to accept an international convention broadly on the lines of the draft circulated by the International Labour Office for discussion at the Maritime Session of the Conference. During the course of the Conference the draft was so amended as to make it unacceptable in important respects and the Government representatives voted against its adoption. The Japanese Government representatives also voted against it. The Australian Government representative voted in favour. The Canadian representatives did not vote.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
Can the right hon. Gentleman say in what respect the Gov- 1488 ernment opposed an amendment, and why they are in conflict with a most important British Dominion?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
Our position was clearly set out by our representative there, in which he pointed out that a new set of agreements had been voluntarily entered into by the National Maritime Board, which came into force on 1st October last, and that we are not prepared to vary those agreements without any experience up to the present of their working.