HC Deb 14 May 1962 vol 659 c927
41. Mr. P. Williams

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will act to the advantage of the nation by taking earlier initiatives in intervening in industrial disputes; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Hare

It is my policy to take the initiative as soon as I think this will be to the advantage of the nation and parties concerned. The time at which I can intervene most effectively, however, depends on the circumstances of the particular dispute and the attitudes of the parties. Premature intervention can often make the situation worse.

Mr. Williams

I recognise the vital importance of my right hon. Friend's last sentence, but may I ask whether he would agree that many disputes, especially in the shipbuilding industry, could be helped or even solved by an earlier intervention of the Ministry of Labour? Will he instruct his local officers to take an earlier initiative in many of these disputes?

Mr. Hare

I rather suspect that my hon. Friend has a particular dispute in mind. He should know that for the past two weeks my local officers have been trying to find a basis upon which to bring the two parties together. They will continue to give all the assistance they can.