HC Deb 06 December 1961 vol 650 cc1380-1
33. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Minister of Labour what study he has made of the report of a mission from the International Labour Office on the trade union situation in Sweden; and what action he will take on similar lines in this country.

Mr. Hare

I have studied the Report. Swedish conditions are very different from our own. Their system operates successfully only because both sides of industry combine in supporting its principles. Certainly we should examine the Swedish system, and any others which might be successfully adapted to our particular needs, but this can only be done with success if both sides of British Industry are willing to give their full co-operation.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Has my right hon. Friend studied the basic agreement of 1938 entered into between the Swedish Confederation of Labour and the Swedish Confederation of Employers, which is both comprehensive and advanced and contains quick ways of settling disputes? Will my right hon. Friend draw this agreement to the attention of the T.U.C. and the British Employers' Confederation?

Mr. Hare

The whole of this system depends on the agreement of both employers and trade unions.

Mr. D. Griffiths

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the reason for this mutual understanding in Sweden is that they have a Socialist Government there, while the relations between employers and employees are different when one has a Conservative Party in power, as in this country.

Mr. Hare

On this front, I did not notice any particularly wonderful sort of industrial relations existing between 1945 and 1951.