HC Deb 15 November 1965 vol 720 c677
37. Mr. Park

asked the Minister of Labour why Her Majesty's Government has not stated its policy towards the International Labour Office Recommendation on Discrimination in Employment 1958; and if it will now do so.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Ernest Thornton)

The present Government fully accept the general principle of both the Convention and Recommendation on Discrimination in Employment and Occupation that there should be no unfair discrimination in the field of employment. We are, however, not able to ratify the Convention as industrial practice in the United Kingdom is not entirely in accordance with its provisions.

Mr. Park

I thank my hon. Friend for that Answer. Will he agree that there is abundant evidence of racial discrimination in industry which is increasing and that only by extending the provisions of the Race Relations Act to apply to employment practices is this trend likely to be arrested?

Mr. Thornton

My Department's employment exchange managers have full instructions not to condone discrimination on race or colour under any circumstances.

Mr. Freeson

Perhaps, therefore, my hon. Friend will explain why certain managers of employment exchanges are initiating inquiries with employers as to whether they will take coloured people or not, and not waiting for employers to submit their own discriminatory recommendations to them?

Mr. Thornton

I am not aware of that, but if my hon. Friend will give me details I shall certainly have them looked into.