1940s >> 1947 >> no-518-october-1947

Press Cuttings

Strikes in Nationalised Industries

“The Grimethorpe strike has raised, in an acute from, the question of discipline in a nationalised industry.
Trade union theory has never surrendered the right to strike, after due notice given.
It has been held to be the last sacred sanction of organised labour against injustice.
But it is against private employers that this right has been so sturdily maintained.
Is the situation the same when, as in the coal industry, the employer is the nation?
And can the State run industry effectively if the right of the workers to defy its authority with impunity is to be recognised ?
“No” would seem to be the answer to both these questions. And, unless agreement can be reached on this basis, nationalised industries run grave risks of coming to grief.”

(Mr. Ernest Thurtle, Labour M.P., writing in Sunday Express, 14/9/47.)

Mr. Thurtle now wants the right to strike to be withdrawn from workers in nationalised industries. Long ago, before the Labour Party came to power, the Labour Daily Herald admitted that if the price of nationalisation is that the workers lose their only weapon, the strike, then, “under capitalism a nationalised industry would actually be worse off than those left in private hands.” (13/9/22.)

New Russian Imperialism in Persia

Moscow radio last night disclosed that the draft Soviet-Persian oil agreement which the Persian Premier, Qavam es Salteneh, declined to submit to Parliament, contains a special article granting concessions to the proposed Soviet-Persian oil company, in addition to the agreement signed in 1946 for the company’s creation.
The new article provides “preferential rights for the Soviet Union regarding the purchase of oil products exported by the company” in which Russia is to hold 51 per cent, of stock, the broadcast said.
It also provides for the company to import duty free and without licence “equipment necessary for its work” of exploiting oilfields in North Persia.

(News Chronicle, 25/9/47)