HC Deb 29 June 1960 vol 625 cc1385-6
40. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will make a further statement regarding new safety regulations in the shipbuilding and ship-repairing industry.

Mr. P. Thomas

A statutory draft of the regulations was published in February, 1960. An objection to certain of the provisions in the draft regulations was subsequently lodged by one of the organisations principally concerned. My officers have since been trying to resolve the disputed issue in consultation with the interested organisations, and a further meeting is being held this week.

Mr. Willey

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that both sides of the industry want these new regulations? Indeed, they have been considered since my right hon. Friend the Member for Blyth (Mr. Robens) was Minister of Labour. Will the hon. Gentleman do his best to see that we get these regulations as soon as possible?

Mr. Thomas

There is only one issue and that is the issue relating to the problem of lighting. As I told the House, there is to be a meeting this week on the matter, and if agreement can be reached, a revised statutory draft of the regulations will be published and will be open for the lodging of objections for the minimum period of three weeks. It is not expected that further objections would then be made.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Will the hon. Gentleman make it clear that, whatever the result of this meeting, the safety regulations will apply to Scotland? They do, in fact, apply to Scotland, but will he make sure that' there will be no alteration in the situation?

Mr. Thomas

I was not certain what the hon. and learned Gentleman said. Was he asking whether the regulations will apply to Scotland?

Mr. Hughes

The Minister has just referred to certain conversations which may result in an alteration of these safety regulations. The safety regulations at present do apply to Scotland. Will he ensure that, whatever alterations are made as a result of these talks, the alterations will not have the effect of making the regulations apply no longer to Scotland? Will they continue to apply to Scotland?

Mr. Thomas