HC Deb 16 April 1958 vol 586 cc152-3
26. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has considered the resolution from the Dundee and District Employment Committee concerning the worsening employment situation in the city; and what answer he has made.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The suggestions made in the resolution are for my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade and I am in touch with him about them.

Mr. Thomson

Will the Minister make representations to his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade that, in view of the difficulties of employment in the jute industry, the Government should not add to these difficulties by taking any action that would increase unemployment in the industry?

Mr. Macleod

I am in constant touch with my right hon. Friend about the problems of Dundee and other places. The measures proposed in the resolution —first, concerning advance factories, and secondly, concerning East-West trade—are, of course, wholly within my right hon. Friend's province, but on all matters concerning Dundee he consults me.

Mr. Woodburn

Will the Minister qualify his suggestion that the matter is entirely one for employers? A big social factor is involved, especially in Scotland, and the Government become involved in the responsibilities for people who are unemployed. Surely, employers ought to consult the Government in good time so that they might receive advice and, under the Chancellor's new proposals, even some assistance if it is desirable that they should remain in a distressed area such as Dundee.

Mr. Macleod

The right hon. Gentleman is, I think, going back to Question No. 25 that we have already passed.

I do not consider it either possible or, indeed, proper for a Government in any way to interfere in the details of a firm's management. I have always regarded it as my duty—and I do it to the point of being tedious about it—to try to lay down as far as I can what I regard as good practices in this direction.

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