HC Deb 18 February 1964 vol 689 c999
8. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works, in view of the long-term wage settlement in the building industry, what consultations he has had with the building industry regarding the desirability of adopting a system of firm price tenders three years ahead.

Mr. Rippon

Since the wages agreement was made have discussed without commitment the period for firm price tenders with some representative bodies in the building industry. I have explained that I will not consider this matter further until I have received the final report of the Banwell Committee on the Placing and Management of Contracts for Building and Civil Engineering Work. Meanwihle my policy remains as stated in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth, West (Sir J. Eden) on 11th December, 1962.

Mr. Boyden

Will the right hon. Gentleman press on with this? Does not he agree that the building contractors owe an obligation to the Government to keep prices stable, particularly since the Government agreed not to use the building industry as an economic regulator? What now prevents the industry from helping the Government?

Mr. Rippon

There are arguments both ways on this. I believe that the industry is very willing to co-operate with the Government, but I will look into the matter when I receive the final report of the Banwell Committee.