HC Deb 17 June 1965 vol 714 cc865-6
5. Mr. Hamling

asked the President of the Board of Trade what representations have been made to him by manufacturers' associations to increase productivity by abandoning monopolistic practices.

Mr. Jay

I have received no such representations.

Mr. Hamling

Is it not about time that my right hon. Friend did?

Mr. Jay

That rests with the trade associations to which my hon. Friend refers rather than with me.

Mr. Barber

Is it not a fact that leading industrialists are co-operating with the Government to increase productivity in the discussions which are going on, particularly in N.E.D.C.? Would the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what representations have been made to him by trade unions on this matter?

Mr. Jay

Yes, Sir. That is quite true and that is why it is rather foolish of the Opposition to suggest that there is some feud between the Government and industry in this matter. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour is also in consultation with trade unions on this issue.

Sir C. Osborne

Is not the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has received no representations on this issue evidence that the allegation is unfounded? Is he not aware, from his own experience, that business is sick of being the football between the parties? Is he not aware that we want to leave business alone to get on with the task of exporting?

Mr. Jay

To some extent I agree, but what is desirable is not so much to leave business alone as to ensure cooperation between business and the Government to solve this problem.