HANSARD  

 

Commons Sitting  

 

ROYAL NAVY.

DOCKYARD WORKERS, MALTA (DISMISSALS).

HC Deb 15 November 1933 vol 281 cc903-5904

 

Mr. T. WILLIAMS

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the dockyard workers in Malta who were suspended pending an appeal in the High Court have now been reinstated?

Sir B. EYRES MONSELL

The appeal of the men referred to has been dismissed and they have now been discharged from the dockyard.

Mr. WILLIAMS

Are we to understand the First Lord to imply that these workmen, whose sentence has been remitted by the Colonial Secretary, or by the Governor on the Colonial Secretary's behalf, who were prosecuted for reading books written by Lord Passfield, George Bernard Shaw and others, are to be suspended permanently from their employment in the dockyard?

Sir B. EYRES MONSELL

Yes, Sir. The Governor remitted their sentences because their appeal was dismissed on purely technical grounds and exercised his right of clemency because of that fact; but these men were convicted of seditious propaganda in the dockyard, and they are dismissed and will remain dismissed.

Mr. WILLIAMS

Does the right hon. Gentleman regard it as a crime for any Maltese person——

Mr. SPEAKER

That is quite another question to the one on the Order Paper.

Mr. WILLIAMS

On a point of Order. Might I not suggest that as the First Lord of the Admiralty is indirectly responsible for the employment of these men in Malta, questions such as these are permissible as to whether men can lose their work permanently for having committed an alleged crime, for which they have been dismissed?

Mr. SPEAKER

It is not in order to ask on a Supplementary question what the First Lord thinks. The question on the Order Paper asks whether the men who were suspended have been reinstated. The First Lord has replied. The hon. Member cannot raise the whole question. If he wants further information he had better put down another question.

Colonel WEDGWOOD

Would it be possible for the First Lord to ascertain exactly what was the crime alleged?

Viscountess ASTOR

Will the First Lord make it quite clear——

Mr. SPEAKER

The First Lord has given his reply.

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