HC Deb 30 October 1957 vol 575 cc214-5
60. Major Beamish

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the system of settling disputed wage claims through the medium of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal is widely held to be unsatisfactory, having frequently led to the award of higher wages, without any reasons being given for the decisions, apparently unrelated to productivity, to the cost of living, or to vital national needs; what consideration is now being given to a new system which will be generally acceptable to employers and employees; and whether he will now make a full statement.

Mr. Carr

I am aware that there has been criticism of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal. The Industrial Disputes Order under which the Tribunal operates is dependent on Defence Regulations. It is the Government's intention to dispense with these Regulations wherever possible and discussions with industry are in progress as to the nature of any permanent arrangements which might take the place of the Order.

Major Beamish

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that although only a very small percentage of wage claims are settled by the Tribunal, these awards have an important influence on the pattern of wage claims and wage settlements throughout the year, and will his right hon. Friend please hear that in mind during the discussions?

Mr. Carr

We will certainly keep these points in mind in the discussions which are taking place.

Mr. Fernyhough

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that there is an imputation in this Question with regard to the integrity, honesty and impartiality of those who sit on the Tribunal, and does he think that this is just making trouble for trouble's sake?

Mr. Carr

I think the hon. Gentleman is really wrong in imputing intentions of that kind to this Question. Equally, I would be wrong to comment on it whilst these discussions are taking place.