HC Deb 06 July 1965 vol 715 cc1337-8
28. Mr. Goodhart

asked the Minister of Power what restrictive practices within the electricity industry have been abandoned by agreement during the past six months.

Mr. John Morris

The abandonment of any restrictive practice relating to employment in the electricity supply industry would be a matter for negotiation between the electricity boards and the trade unions and not one for which my right hon. Friend has responsibility.

Mr. Goodhart

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the London Electricity Board recently had to send no fewer than 14 employees to install one refrigerator in the house of one of my constituents? Is he aware that the chairman of the Board wrote to me saying that this was due entirely to restrictive practices? What progress has been made to try to solve this nonsense?

Mr. Morris

The issue raised by the hon. Member is a matter for the day-to-day management of the Board [H.Ms: "Oh."] As for the progress that has been made, the recent agreements with manual workers have created a climate whereby management in conjunction with the unions and employers can gradually eliminate any obstacle which may still exist to the improvement of efficiency. As I said in reply to the hon. Member on 6th April, considerable progress has been made in carrying out the agreements.

Mr. Godber

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that, whatever matters are for day-to-day management, the Government are under an obligation to see that where there are restrictive practices of that kind steps are taken to eliminate them?

Mr. Morris

Yes, Sir, and we shall take them.