HC Deb 21 February 1966 vol 725 cc17-8
32. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Minister of Labour, whether he will make a statement regarding the application of the Redundancy Payments Act to ship-repair workers.

Mr. Gunter

I have invited both sides of the industry to discuss this matter with me at a meeting to be held on 8th March.

Mr. Blenkinsop

I welcome that reply, but may I ask my right hon. Friend to do all he can to encourage developments in this respect? As is known, the working of the Act with regard to ship-repair yards involves a number of real problems which, at the moment, cause difficulty both for employers and for employees Any speeding-up would be very helpful.

Mr. Gunter

All I can say in answer is that I hope that the talks on 8th March will be very fruitful.

Dame Irene Ward

While welcoming his statement very much, I would ask the Minister when he hopes that the talks will begin. When the talks have come to a decision and a policy has to be formulated, will he act very quickly to get over this very real difficulty?

Mr. Gunter

I indicated that the talks would start on 8th March. I should not like to prophesy when they will end, but when they do, if the problems can be solved on both sides of industry, I will do all I can to help.