HC Deb 09 August 1966 vol 733 cc1661-2
Sir E. Brown

I beg to move Amendment No. 47, in page 28, line 11, to leave out Clause 31.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I think that it will be for the convenience of the House to discuss at the same time Amendment No. 48, in page 29, line 26, leave out Clause 32.

Sir E. Brown

At this early hour of the morning I will be brief. We had a discussion in Committee, and the hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary gave us the answers, but after examining HANSARD we are a bit concerned still, because quite clearly here are 3½ million workers covered by these wages councils, and the hon. Lady said: The position of delay applies in a voluntary situation. As the criteria in the second six months' period are still to be discussed, I cautiously did not give an assurance that at the end of six months there would be any question of any further delays, but said that it might be possible to look more sympathetically at this group."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee B, 4th August, 1966; c. 764.] I wonder if the Parliamentary Secretary has any further answer to give us by way of assurance, because these are a very lowly-paid group and I rather fancy that they would be in difficulty. If they come under Part IV there would be a longer delay than a year, and it might be two years before they could get any consideration. I wonder whether the hon. Lady could give an assurance that they will come early into the pipeline and get sympathetic treatment at the earliest possible opportunity.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

In view of the way in which the Amendment was moved I think it would be beside the point for me to rehearse the argument already made in Committee. I need only say in answer to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Bath (Sir E. Brown) that both my right hon. Friend in Committee and my hon. Friend earlier today indicated that consideration would be given as far as possible to the lower-paid workers in the second six months after the first six months of absolute standstill. I think I ought to repeat what I said in Committee, so that the position is absolutely clear, and that is that this lower-paid group cannot be considered only as those under wages councils, because, as the hon. Gentleman will appreciate, there are a good many groups of workers who are outside the wages councils and who are no more highly paid.

Amendment negatived.