HC Deb 21 March 1938 vol 333 cc836-7
44 and 54. Mr. Perkins

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air (1) whether it is proposed to set up a Whitley Council, as recommended by the Cadman Committee, for air-line pilots; and, if so, when;

(2) whether any instructions have yet been given to the two Government directors on the Board of Imperial Airways, Limited, with regard to the declared policy of the Government as to the desirability of immediately setting up a Whitley Council for air-line pilots in general?

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead)

As stated in the observations of His Majesty's Government attached to the report of the Cadman Committee, His Majesty's Government have informed Imperial Airways, Limited, that the reforms recommended by the committee concerning staff organisation and relations between the company and its employés should be taken in hand. The company have signified their agreement. The precise form of the machinery to be set up in conformity with the recommendations of the Cadman Committee which His Majesty's Government have accepted is primarily a matter between the companies and their staffs, but it will be the business of the Government directors concerned to see that effect is given in practice to the principle of collective representation recommended in the Cadman report.

Mr. Montague

Is it the opinion of the Under-Secretary that the Whitley Council is collective representation; and does he not think it is necessary that the collective organisation of the air line pilots should be recognised in order that the Whitley Council machinery may work?

Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead

I have not stated any precise form of machinery. No precise form of machinery has been either recommended by the Cadman Committee or decided upon by the Government.

Mr. George Griffiths

Is it not the case that the Whitley Committee cannot function unless both sides are there?

Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead

Yes, Sir; I am aware of that.

Mr. Griffiths

Should not the hon. and gallant Gentleman's Department be represented then?

Mr. Garro Jones

How does the Under-Secretary think that the Government directors will be able to see that effect is given to the recommendations of the Cadman Committee's Report? Seeing that they are in a minority on the board, what pressure does he intend them to bring to bear?

Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead

The Government are responsible for directing their representatives on the board to press various aspects of Government policy. With regard to the question of an actual impasse on the board, I think one might meet that when it arises.