HC Deb 11 March 1963 vol 673 cc957-8
32. Mr. Wainwright

asked the Minister of Labour if he will take immediate steps to ensure that each local authority in an area covered by a local employment committee shall have the opportunity to appoint at least one of its elected representatives to the local employment committee.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. William White-law)

No, Sir. Local employment committees are made up of representatives of employers' and workers' organisations, together with other persons with special local knowledge or experience. Among the latter group, local authorities are well represented, but the inclusion of representatives from each local authority in an area covered by a committee would in some instances increase the local authority representation disproportionately at the expense of other important local interests.

Mr. Wainwright

Does not the Parliamentary Secretary realise that the Wath-on-Dearne Urban District Council will be greatly disturbed by his Answer? Is it not true that representatives of local authorities are men of suitable calibre for this kind of committee? Is he not aware that there will be great feeling, not only among urban district councils, but in the trade unions also, if this kind of action is taken by his Department? Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House whether his Department has given instructions to the Leeds regional office to carry out this reduction in the number of local representatives from urban district councils on local employment committees.

Mr. Whitelaw

I am not sure whether the hon. Member is referring to the general practice or to a specific case. If the former, the position is as I have stated it, and it has always been like this. I cannot see that there would be much reason for complaint, because all the various bodies concerned are properly represented. I have, of course, pointed out the size of the workers' panels on which trade unionists are represented. If the hon. Member is referring to a specific case and would be good enough to let me have details, I will be pleased to look into it.