HC Deb 07 July 1955 vol 543 cc1284-5
23. Mr. Allaun

asked the Minister of Labour if he will hold an inquiry, inviting trade union participation, into the effects on employment in this country of a spread of automation, automatic processes, and automatic factories.

Sir W. Monckton

A good deal of study is already being devoted to the various aspects of this subject and I do not think that there is need for me to hold a special inquiry into the effects on employment.

Mr. Allaun

Is the Minister aware of the widespread fears among industrial workers that automation will bring serious unemployment unless their hours are cut and their purchasing power increased? Does not he think that the time to investigate this problem is now, when we have full employment, rather than to wait until distress arises?

Sir W. Monckton

I hoped that I had made it clear that we are considering this subject and observing what has been said by important leaders of various trade unions and industrialists. But I do not think that it is necessary to have a special inquiry at present. On the technical side, inquiries are going on under the D.S.I.R.