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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 81

Conciliation Boards Have Failed

Conciliation Boards Have Failed.

The second point of criticism I offer relates to 'the Conciliation Boards. It would be idle to deny that, for reasons it is unnecessary to discuss just now, they have entirely failed to achieve the results Mr Reeves anticipated. He thought that through the agency of the Boards 90 per cent, of our industrial disputes would be settled—the assumption being that the intervention of impartial conciliation would enable the two parties to come to terms upon the points finally in dispute between them. When the parties gave up trying to settle these disputes—gave up indeed, having any genuine disputes—but worked the Art for the sole purpose of wage and labour regulation, Conciliation really had no place, and the Boards as they now stand have become a kind of fifth wheel in the coach, of which they were intended to be the most important part—an agent wrested from its true purpose of conciliation into one of expense, friction and delay. Thus, in the Bill of last year, 'they were to be abolished, and a new system of Industrial Councils established.