HC Deb 08 June 1959 vol 606 cc613-4
22. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is yet in a position to report on the qualifications and pay of youth employment officers.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I understand that a statement of qualifications prepared by the local authority associations concerned is likely to be ready very shortly. It is intended to serve as a basis for the negotiation of appropriate salary scales through the machinery of the appropriate National Joint Council for Local Authorities.

Mrs. Castle

While thanking the Minister for that reply, may I ask whether he is not aware that these discussions have been going on since January? Is he not also aware that the variations in the qualifications required and the salaries paid in this important service are leading to discontent and demoralisation in the service at the very moment when it is most needed? Will the right hon. Gentleman, therefore, do what he can to speed up a settlement of this issue on a fair basis?

Mr. Macleod

I certainly agree with what the hon. Lady said about the importance of this service and the length of time that the negotiations have taken. I hope now that they are very near the point of finality. Then we can get proper qualifications and appropriate salary scales as soon as possible.