§ 3. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Minister of Labour to what extent the conclusion on page 37 of the International Labour Conference Report VII (1), prepared for the 44th session in 1960, is in conformity with the policy of Her Majesty's Government; and if he will have legislation prepared so that at the conference he will be in a position to indicate that Her Majesty's Government will at once implement a convention to guarantee a 40-hour working week.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
Does not the Minister think it would be in the best interest of Britain if international standards could be agreed to at such a conference? Would not this tend to eliminate unfair foreign competition? If the Minister agrees with that reasoning, should not concrete action be taken on these lines at this conference?
§ 4. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement on the reply made to the questionnaire sent out in accordance with Article 39 of the Standing Orders of the International Labour Conference, which deals with the reduction of hours of work.
§ 6. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Minister of Labour if he has studied the International Labour Organisation Report VII (1), prepared for the 44th session in 1960, with particular reference to Table I, Table III, Table IV, and Table V; what examination has been made of the International Labour Organisation Report VII; and what action it is intended to take to reduce the working week of industrial workers and miners in this country and increase their annual holiday period with improved payments.
§ Mr. Heath
I have studied this Report with interest, and it has been carefully examined in my Department in consultation with other Departments concerned. As the reduction of hours of work is for the two sides of a particular industry to discuss and decide, the Government do not contemplate action of the kind suggested.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
In view of the growing interest in the need for a reduction in hours of work throughout the world, and particularly in our own country, has not the time arrived when 341 the Minister and also the Ministry should take greater interest in this matter in order to give a lead to industry?