§ 16. Sir C. Osborne
asked the Minister of Labour, in view of the recommendation in paragraph 41 of the Report of the National Board for Prices and Incomes, Command Paper No. 2695, that his Department should give consideration to the absurdity of retaining an increasingly redundant Wages Council, if he will take the steps to abolish the Council; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Thornton
Under the Wages Councils Act, 1959, a wages council may be abolished only when adequate alternative wage regulating machinery exists which is substantially representative of the two sides of the industry concerned. I welcome the recent moves by the Road Haulage Association and the trade unions concerned to set up voluntary wage negotiating machinery for the road haulage industry, and I hope that sufficient progress will soon be made in the operation and development of this machinery to enable the parties concerned to make a joint application under Section 5 of the Act for the Road Haulage Wages Council to be abolished.
§ Sir C. Osborne
As the Report states specifically that the continued existence of the Wages Council may possibly militate against the full development of the new machinery, ought not the old machinery to be removed; and, if the old-fashioned wages councils are a hindrance to welcome new developments, ought not the same thing to be encouraged in other industries as well?
§ Mr. Thornton
My right hon. Friend is well seized of this position and he is taking a very active interest in the matter.