HC Deb 26 April 1965 vol 711 cc22-3
30. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Minister of Labour what wage negotiations are at present taking place, and what wage agreements have been reached, since 1st January, 1965, in the Scottish building industry.

Mr. Thornton

I know of only two agreements reached since 1st January; they relate to electrical contracting and to plumbing. I know of no current negotiations.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied that these two agreements are in accord with the principles of the Government's incomes policy, and, if not, are the Government intending to refer them to the wages and prices bureau?

Mr. Thornton

These agreements are above the norm. My right hon. Friend the First Secretary of State has met representatives of the Scottish plumbing industry and has expressed his concern over both the size of the settlement and the effect it may have on the prices charged by the industry. No representations have been made to the electrical contracting industry. The second question the hon. Gentleman asked in his supplementary is a matter for my right hon. Friend the First Secretary of State, but I understand that no decision has yet been made in regard to the plumbing agreement.

Mr. Godber

In regard to the plumbing agreement particularly, the hon. Gentleman will be aware that it was a similar departure on their part from the general building trades agreement of 1962 which did lead to very considerable trouble in the Scottish building industry, and, therefore, would it not be much better to refer this claim straight away to the new body so that it can give consideration to it before difficulties arise, as they will, and to other matters in respect of the building industry?

Mr. Thornton

This is a matter for the First Secretary of State, who has it under consideration.