HC Deb 02 November 1959 vol 612 cc658-9
30. Mr. Darling

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will request the employers' side of his Joint Advisory Council to inquire into the attitude of employers and their trade associations to modern wages systems and to consultation with trade unions on all industrial questions.

Mr. Heath

The initiative for setting up any such inquiry must rest with the employing side of industry.

Mr. Darling

Do we understand from the Minister's reply that the right hon. Gentleman is satisfied that there is nothing on the employers' side of industrial relations which needs to be improved and put right? As the Trades Union Congress is looking into any faults and weaknesses which there may be in trade union methods and organisation, can he not use his influence to persuade the employers to set up a similar inquiry to remedy their faults and weaknesses?

Mr. Heath

I have no doubt that there are things which can be made better on all sides of industry. Industrial relations are a problem of human relations, and as soon as human relations are involved the element of human weakness enters. It is the practice that things are not put to one side alone of the National Joint Advisory Council.

The initiative for the inquiry by the Trades Union Congress was taken by the T.U.C. itself, and I am certain that everybody in the House welcomes it. But it was not taken as part of, or one side of, the N.J.A.C. It was made quite clear at the meeting of the N.J.A.C. last week that the description as the Trade Union side of the N.J.A.C. was a convenient form to describe those making the inquiry; in other words, they are the members of the T.U.C. on the N.J.A.C., but it was not as such an N.J.A.C. inquiry.

Back to