HC Deb 09 February 1949 vol 461 cc370-1
46. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of Defence whether, in view of the fact that nine months have elapsed since the setting up of the British Electricity Authority, he has yet been able to ascertain what arrangements have been made by that body for the grant of paid leave to its employees for the purpose of attending Territorial Army and other Auxiliary Forces camps.

Mr. Alexander

The British Electricity Authority and the Area Boards have this matter under active consideration and hope to reach a decision in good time for this year's camps. Last year, as the hon. Member will be aware, they followed the practice of the individual undertakings which they took over on 1st April.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Is it not intolerable that a publicly owned body should hesitate for so long to do what the Government are asking private employers to do, and will the right hon. Gentleman consult with his right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power with a view to issuing a direction to this dilatory body?

Mr. Alexander

Of course, I am in touch with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power, and representations have been made. I am quite certain that we shall get a decision fairly soon, but they have to negotiate with a number of trade unions and also three joint councils, and that may take a little time. The hon. Member can be assured that we have brought strong representations to bear.

Brigadier Head

Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to ensure that the anomalies and differences which now exist between all the various industries are regularised, so that people may know where they are, because at present the arrangements vary?

Mr. Alexander

I am not aware that there is any special direction in which there are grave differences between the public bodies, apart from those to which hon. Members have drawn attention.