§ 16. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
asked the Minister of Labour what action he is taking with reference to existing agreements under which the amount of wages, salaries and other remuneration are affected by variations in the cost of living; what is the policy of His Majesty's Government with regard to such agreements; and what steps he is taking to invite the attention of the two sides of industry to that policy.
§ Mr. Isaacs
It is the Government's policy to entrust the settlement of wages and conditions of employment to the joint negotiating machinery in industry, and any questions arising on the agreements to which the hon. Member refers would be a matter for such machinery in the industries concerned. I am satisfied that the two sides of industry are fully aware of the Government's view, expressed in this House by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 27th September, that there must be a strict observance of the terms of the White Paper on personal incomes, prices and profits.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
I am not clear whether that answer means that it is the view of the Government that there should be a variation in agreements which, if carried out in their present form, must lead to a proportionate rise in many wage rates when the cost of living rises.
§ Mr. Isaacs
I think the view of the Government was expressed to that extent in the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I know that the industries are considering this, and one has already come to a decision about it.