HC Deb 09 March 1964 vol 691 cc27-8
39. Mr. Prentice

asked the Minister of Labour what progress has been made by his Department in their efforts to promote more satisfactory procedures for staff representation in the banks.

Mr. Godber

As I told the House on 20th January, my officers have discussed matters arising from Lord Cameron's Report with the organisations concerned and I met the chairmen of the four banks directly concerned in the inquiry on 5th March. They were not prepared to agree that the National Union of Bank Employees should have the right to make oral representations to them as suggested by Lord Cameron. I propose to ask representatives of the union and of the Central Council of Bank Staff Associations to meet me at an early date to discuss other matters arising out of the Report.

Mr. Prentice

What is the Minister's own attitude in all this? Is it satisfactory that even the rather moderate recommendation of Lord Cameron about the right of the N.U.B.E. to oral representation is apparently still refused by the four banks concerned? Is the right hon. Gentleman simply accepting this, or doing whatever he can to make a new arrangement with the banks, pointing out to them that in this respect they are lagging behind arrangements which have existed in industry and commerce generally for a very long time?

Mr. Godber

I am engaged in following up Lord Cameron's Report to see if I can find any way in which to make progress. It would be better if I were not to say very much at this stage about how I am approaching it. We want to make progress and we have seen the Report. I should prefer it if the hon. Gentleman would allow me to leave it there.

Mr. Lubbock

What are the arguments advanced by the banks themselves against accepting this recommendation of Lord Cameron?

Mr. Godber

On the strength of my last reply, I would prefer to try to make progress if I can. This is a difficult and delicate subject which has worried many people over a long time. Lord Cameron made a very careful and detailed report and I am trying to find some way in which to make progress. It is not easy, but I should like to try without making public comment at this time.