HC Deb 21 October 1952 vol 505 cc848-9
25. Mr. Lee

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to grant to its industrial employees the 10 per cent. cost of living increase in wages and salaries accorded to the Civil Service.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I assume that the hon. Member refers to the recent grant to non-industrial civil servants of a pay increase broadly comparable with those already obtained up to the end of 1951 by workers generally in other occupations. It would not be appropriate to extend this pay addition to industrial employees whose wages are determined by reference to the approved rates for the individual trades concerned in outside industry and who have already received suitable increases on this basis.

Mr. Lee

Would not the Chancellor agree he has just told the House that during the last 12 months the £ has fallen by some 1s. 3d. in value; that requests for negotiations for increased wages have taken place many months ago, and that if he wants to maintain increased production at the pace he asked for he must do something about it?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir, but the Question related to industrial employees, whose case has been considered through the ordinary machinery and the ordinary channels relating to their individual trades; which is the answer to the Question.

Sir W. Smithers

Is my right hon. Friend aware that to increase wages now does no good to the recipients or the country?

Mr. Ellis Smith

That is not true.

Sir W. Smithers

It simply means printing more pieces of paper which we cannot eat or wear.