HC Deb 03 May 1963 vol 676 cc1584-5

Order for Second Reading read.

3.57 p.m.

Mr. John Diamond (Gloucester)

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

In the short time available to me, I am privileged to move the Second Reading of this Ten Minute Rule Bill on severance pay. The principle is well established and approved by hon. Members on both sides of the House. The Government have said from time to time that they expect, and wish in the autumn, to bring in a Bill, and so I do not think I need do more at this stage than commend the Bill to the House.

3.58 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. William Whitelaw)

I should like to start by saying that the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Diamond) is entitled to congratulate himself on being a pioneer in this field. He has directed attention to the problem of redundancy and the need for improved financial provision for redundant workers. I can say at once that the Government sympathise entirely with the objective of this Bill—[Interruption.]—which is to ensure that there are financial provisions for redundant workers.

In the Budget debate—[Interruption.]—my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the Government intend to tackle the problem of redundancy vigorously in consultation with both sides of industry in the next few months—[Interruption.] If the hon. Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton) wishes to talk, he will find that my voice can be much louder. I will talk louder than he can. In the meantime, perhaps the hon. Gentleman will allow me to continue.

At a later stage in the Budget debate, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour intimated the circumstances in which the Government were engaged in many aspects of this problem, including that of financial provision which, in the view of the Government, must be dealt with—

It being Four o'clock the debate stood adjourned.

Debate to be resumed upon Friday next.