HC Deb 01 August 1962 vol 664 cc583-4
38. Mr. W. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will take immediate steps to implement the recommendation, contained in paragraph 349 of chapter 12 of the Departmental Committee Report on the Probation Service, regarding consultation with the interested parties with a view to the establishment of a sole negotiating body for Great Britain.

45. Mr. Ross

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he proposes to implement the recommendation of the Morison Report relating to the establishment of a single negotiating body for probation officers.

Mr. Noble

I intend in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department to ask the organisations concerned to consider this question. But I have, in the first place, referred the recommendations of the Committee on pay and conditions of service to the existing negotiating machinery. This seems right in view of the time which would necessarily be involved in any reorganisation of the machinery.

Mr. Hamilton

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise the urgency of this problem? Why the delay in implementating a relatively simple proposition of this kind? Does not he recognise that the probation officers in Scotland have an even greater grievance than their counterparts in England in that they will lose money by the delay in implementing proposals on any pay increase which is given and that the 2½ per cent. is miserable enough without adding this insult to the injury already suffered?

Mr. Noble

I think that if I had taken any action other than to give it to the existing negotiating machinery the delay would have been much greater.

Mr. Ross

We have been given no indication as to when the discussions will take place. Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us when they will take place and how soon after that he will introduce the necessary legislation in order to put this matter right?

Mr. Noble

I understand that the negotiating committee has met once already and has not made any recommendation to me because it has not agreed. As soon as it does and if it makes a recommendation to me, I will deal with it as quickly as I can.

Mr. C. Royle

Will the Secretary of State say what use it is to refer this to the joint negotiating committee when in England the committee's recommendation has been turned down by the Government?

Mr. Noble

Because if we tried to set up any alternative system and had to go through the problem of getting the bodies concerned to agree on a quite new system we should not even have got started.