HC Deb 26 March 1963 vol 674 cc1113-4
33. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will refer to the National Incomes Commission the investigation of all salaries in excess of £7,000 per year.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Reginald Maulding)

No, Sir.

Mr. Gourlay

Does not the Chancellor think it an absolute scandal that the chairman of N.I.C. should be paid about £240 a week or £12,500 a year? What moral right can this man have to tell Scottish building workers who earn about £10 a week that they cannot have their hours reduced to 40 hours a week? Ought not the chairman of the Commission to declare an interest, and when does the Chancellor intend to inject some semblance of justice into this national incomes policy?

Mr. Maudling

No, I do not think it is a scandal. It is a great deal less than the chairman earned in his previous occupation.

34. Mrs. Castle

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the salaries being paid to the chairman, full-time and part-time members, respectively, of the National Incomes Commission; and what is the length of the contract in each case.

Mr. Maudling

On salaries, I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough and Whitby (Sir A. Spearman) on 18th December, 1962. The appointments are for three years in one case and for five years in all others.

Mrs. Castle

Is it not a fact that some of the part-time members are on five-year contracts? Does not this mean that when the Labour Government come into office in the next few months and wind up this Commission the country will be saddled with the burden of paying thousands of pounds to these gentlemen, some of whom have been earning, part-time, higher incomes than their current full-time incomes? Is this the way to encourage income restraint?

Mr. Maudling

I shall not comment on the future political development referred to by the hon. Lady. But it is the normal thing, when planning a national body like this, to appoint its members for a proper term.

Mrs. Castle

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer my question about five-year contracts?

Mr. Maudling

Yes, certainly. More than one of the part-time members is appointed for five years. One member is appointed for three years, and the period is five years in all other cases. That covers part-time members.