HC Deb 23 February 1956 vol 549 cc542-3
6. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Labour if he will arrange to meet the Trades Union Congress to discuss with them the present economic difficulties confronting the country and the extent to which they can propose measures to him for maintaining industrial peace.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The discussions which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister hopes to hold shortly with members of the General Council of the Trades Union Congress will afford an opportunity for a review of the economic and industrial situation.

Mr. Lewis

Will the Minister please answer my Question? I am asking whether he will meet the T.U.C. I am not asking whether the Prime Minister will meet the T.U.C.—I asked that Question yesterday. I am pleased, of course, that the Prime Minister will be seeing them, but I am very much concerned that the Minister of Labour has not yet made an approach. Will the Minister take the opportunity of seeing the T.U.C., notwithstanding what the Prime Minister may or may not do?

Mr. Macleod

If the hon. Member had taken the trouble to study a little more closely what my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said, he would have seen that my right hon. Friend said: I hope to do this with those of my colleagues who are most closely concerned. Obviously, I am one of those and will join in the conference.

Mr. G. Brown

In order to make this meeting more valuable, will the Minister arrange that a copy of yesterday's statement by the T.U.C. is circulated to all his colleagues and that, this year, they are asked to take some notice of it?

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is it not a cause for some disquiet that the T.U.C., which is supposed to be a set of responsible politicians, if not statesmen, should have issued that statement in advance of the meeting with the Prime Minister?