HC Deb 08 July 1963 vol 680 cc836-7
3. Mr. Shepherd

asked the Minister of Labour when he hopes to be able to de-casualise dock labour in the United Kingdom.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. John Hare)

It is the declared objective or the National Joint Council for the Port Transport Industry, which I strongly support to achieve further decasualisation of the dock labour force at the earliest possible date. The Council has called upon local port committees to prepare plans to this end on the basis of principles agreed by the Council. Discussions are at present proceeding between the employers and union representatives in most of the major ports and have reached an advanced stage in the Port of London. Complex problems are involved in translating the general principles agreed by the Council into practical measures which have regard to the varying circumstances in the ports. I am hopeful, however, that agreement in London will not be long delayed and that rapid progress will be achieved in the other ports. I am keeping in close touch with representatives of both sides of the Council.

Mr. Shepherd

I thank my right hon. Friend for his interest in this matter. Can he speed up conclusions, because this system is degrading in the second half of the twentieth century and brings with it all the evils of insecurity?

Mr. Hare

My hon. Friend knows what I feel about this subject. I am doing all in my power to see that concrete proposals are brought forward, and I hope that a conclusion for London will not be too long delayed.