HC Deb 18 January 1945 vol 407 c342
5. Sir Herbert Williams

asked the Minister of Labour, if he has any statement to make in respect to the Christmas Day Strike on the railways of the L.P.T.B.

11. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of Labour what disciplinary action he proposes to take under his special wartime powers against those members of the staff of the L.P.T.B. who failed to report for duty on Christmas Day.

Mr. Bevin

In this case the men absented themselves from work on Christmas Day on the ground that they were not allowed a compensatory day's leave in lieu. The stoppage, which all of us deplore, occurred despite the efforts of the union to secure normal working in accordance with existing agreements. Discussions are, I understand, at present proceeding between the L.P.T.B. and the unions concerned and it is desirable not to take any action that might prejudice the outcome of the discussions which are likely to have permanent value.

Sir W. Smithers

Is it not possible to bring home to these men the great inconvenience and discomfort they caused to thousands of people, especially, speaking from my own experience, to women with little children?

Mr. Bevin

I think it has been brought home to them, but I would like to impress upon the House the fact that these men, both on the buses and on the tubes, have carried through this war in a most amazing manner.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Has any endeavour been made by the trade unions to stop these unofficial strikes?