HC Deb 07 December 1964 vol 703 c1054
25. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the number of wage thefts, he will seek co-operation from the trades unions to extend the payment of wages by cheque.

Mr. Thornton

Under the Payment of Wages Act, 1960, the individual worker can decide whether he wants to be paid by cheque. I would not wish to interfere with this freedom of choice.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Yes, but would not the hon. Gentleman agree that the progress in achieving acceptance by the unions of payment by cheque has been highly unsatisfactory since the passage of the Act, and does he not feel that the time has come to urge upon the unions the need for additional use of this procedure?

Mr. Thornton

I am quite satisfied from my experience that the unions generally know what is in the best interests of their members. I should certainly not feel justified in exerting any influence upon them. Bearing in mind ordinary banking facilities and working hours, even hon. Members would be asking for some of their salary to be paid in cash if it were not for the special facilities that we have at the Post Office.

Sir C. Osborne

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that the best way to stop wage thefts is to punish more severely those who thieve?