§ 52. Mr. Warbey
asked the Minister of Labour what, in each quarter of 1961 and in the first two quarters of 1962, 32 was the percentage increase over the preceding quarter of the weekly wage rates of all workers.
§ Mr. Warbey
Do not those figures effectively dispose of the myth that the pay pause was rendered necessary by the abnormal increases in wage rates during the early part of last year?
§ Mr. Whitelaw
I do not think so. As has been explained, more than half of the increases in the period from July to April were due to increases from commitments entered into before 25th July. Furthermore, I know that the hon. Gentleman will be pleased to know that the Index of Weekly Wage Rates rose by 23 per cent. in the six months preceding the pause, and, despite these extra commitments, by 2.2 per cent. in the nine months of the pause. It is therefore clear that it has not had a drastic impression on our costs and that we are therefore more competitive.