HC Deb 21 February 1966 vol 725 cc16-7
31. Mr. Howe

asked the Minister of Labour what assessment he has made of the extent to which stoppages of work due to industrial disputes would be reduced in number if disputes were referred quickly to some sort of local tribunal or labour court.

Mr. Gunter

No precise estimate can be made. The desirability of setting up labour courts will no doubt be considered by the Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers' Associations.

Mr. Howe

In view of the fact that the Minister appeared this afternoon to make personally favourable noises to the idea of industrial courts and that he visualised extended legislation for the industrial tribunals set up under the Redundancy Payments Act, may we take it that he would be in favour of the establishment of industrial courts to provide quick resolution of industrial disputes?

Mr. Gunter

What I should like to see emerge—I know of the sneers which are made at the Royal Commission—is an analysis of all the evidence from all our industrialists and trade unionists as to how labour courts can operate, how comprehensive they are, what legal authorities they can determine. To act in isolation over only one aspect of the problem would be fatal. I emphasise that I should like to see a considered report by the Commission and then proceed along the line which I believe is getting growing support.