HC Deb 25 May 1965 vol 713 cc210-1
10. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Minister of Power if he will take steps to widen the representation on area gas boards.

Mr. John Morris

At present my right hon. Friend sees no need to alter the arrangements whereby suitable persons are selected for appointment from the wide categories named in section 5 of the Gas Act, 1948.

Mrs. Short

Will my right hon. Friend spread his net a little wider and see that there is greater representation of consumers and trade unionists on the gas boards?

Mr. Morris

As regards the con-consumers, the chairman of the gas consultative council for the area is an ex-officio member of the board. There is also a trade union member on each board.

Mr. Carmichael

Is not my hon. Friend aware that there is a growing feeling in many of the nationalised industries that not only should the boards' membership be increased, but that there should be some attempt at democratisation of the whole industry, and that the sooner we begin to have a little more confidence in the people in the industries to participate in the organisation and running of the industries the quicker it will reach even greater efficiency than it has at present?

Mr. Morris

As my hon. Friend is aware, there is consultative machinery in the gas industry for consultation on all matters affecting safety, health, welfare and matters of that kind, but the Government's mind is quite open on the question of direct representation of workers on the boards.