HC Deb 19 July 1949 vol 467 cc1150-1
31. Mr. Mikardo

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that some air charter companies, of whom details have been sent to him, which are receiving contracts from a number of Government Departments are violating the provisions of Section 41 of the Civil Aviation Act, 1946, by paying wages below those of the standards of the Airways Corporations; and what action he proposes to take in the matter.

Mr. Ness Edwards

I have seen the letter from my hon. Friend alleging that certain air charter companies are not complying with the requirements of Section 41 of the Civil Aviation Act, 1946, regarding terms and conditions of employment. The matter has not been reported to my right hon. Friend by the parties, but I am communicating with the Minister of Civil Aviation and will write my hon. Friend at a later date.

Mr. Mikardo

Whilst thanking my right hon. Friend for that promise, may I ask him whether he will bear in mind that there is a second question in this Question to which he has not referred; that it is not only a question of the violation of Section 41 of the Act, but that the real point is that some Government Departments are conniving at this violation. Will he look into that as well?

Mr. Ness Edwards

I cannot accept that conclusion. We must first of all investigate the position to see whether they are really violating the terms and conditions of employment. If that is so, then subsequent action will be taken.

Brigadier Peto

Because the British Airways Corporations and other nationalised industries are running at a loss, is it necessary to ensure that all private enterprise companies which compete should also run at a loss?

Mr. Ness Edwards

The losses should not be taken out of the wages of the workers.