HC Deb 06 December 1961 vol 650 cc1350-1
6 and 7. Mr. Currie

asked the Minister of Labour (1) whether his attention has been drawn to the present dispute between Equity and the Independent Television Companies' Association; what steps he has taken with a view to conciliation; and if he will make a statement;

(2) whether he will consider inviting representatives of Equity and of the Independent Television Companies' Association to a meeting to be held under his auspices with a view to resolving the existing dispute between these parties.

Mr. Hare

No request has so far been made for my Department's assistance, although my officers have had informal discussions with representatives of Equity, the Independent Television Companies' Labour Relations Committee and the Independent Television Authority. I understand that further negotiations are now to take place between Equity and the employers.

Mr. Currie

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his reply, may I ask if he is aware that as a result of a fairly substantial offer of increased fees made by the companies the two parties are now very close together? In these circumstances, would he not consider using his good offices to bring an early end to this dispute?

Mr. Hare

If his information is correct and these parties are close together and about to start further negotiations, I think my hon. Friend will agree that we should hope they will settle their disputes without bringing in the Minister of Labour.

Mr. Jeger

Is the Minister aware that it is indeed true that the two parties to the dispute are very close together and it is hoped that their dispute may be settled? Surely that will release the hon. Member for Down, North (Mr. Currie) to worry about the unemployment problem in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Hare

In defence of my hon. Friend, I should say that I think that is a most unwarranted and unnecessary interjection.

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