HC Deb 01 April 1952 vol 498 cc1410-1
50. Mr. Harold Watkinson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he still presides over the National Production Advisory Council on Industry.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Watkinson

May I ask my right hon. Friend if he will make much greater use of this Council than did the previous Government and try to make it a more flexible and efficient instrument for increasing production?

Mr. Butler

We are certainly intending to use this Council. Another meeting has been arranged at the earliest time convenient to all the members concerned, and I hope to preside on that occasion.

Mr. Hugh Gaitskell

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether his attention has been drawn to the half-yearly report of the Trades Union Congress, in which they complained of the changes he has made regarding the secretariat of this Council and of the fact that neither they nor the employers were consulted before these changes? Has the right hon. Gentleman any statement to make on that?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. These changes were made in the interests of economy and have been fully explained to the Trades Union Congress and the employers' side. I do not think they will make the slightest difference to the efficiency or spirit in which we work, and I believe that all concerned now understand that we intend to carry on as well as we can.