HC Deb 01 November 1966 vol 735 cc247-9
Q8. Mr. Park

asked the Prime Minister what action he is taking to secure the implementation of the proposals discussed at the National Productivity Conference.

Q19. Mr. Moonman

asked the Prime Minister what terms of reference he has given to the Working Party set up to examine the proposals made at the recent National Productivity Conference which he chaired.

The Prime Minister

The proposals are now being considered either directly by the Government or by the working party set up under the chairmanship of the Director General of the National Economic Development Office. This working party, which has no formal terms of reference, is assisting the National Economic Development Council in coordinating action arising from the Conference.

Mr. Park

Would my right hon. Friend agree that we shall not succeed in getting a sense of productivity-consciousness which is necessary until we have established pay and productivity committees at all levels of industry, and established at the factory floor? What action is he taking in consultation with trade unions and employers to bring this about?

The Prime Minister

My hon. Friend will know that my right hon. Friend the First Secretary is discussing with both sides of industry the question of the criteria for the second phase, the post-standstill phase, and has made clear that one of the most important questions to be satisfied in the criteria is on genuine pay and productivity agreements, that is, where the increase in pay is matched by a corresponding and simultaneous increase in productivity.

Mr. Moonman

While appreciating my right hon. Friend's Answer, would it not be sensible to instruct the working party set up as a result of the Productivity Conference to look particularly into the question of pay and productivity committees and the relationship with the existing collective bargaining structure?

The Prime Minister

There was considerable discussion on this point at the conference and it was decided to try to learn as far as we can from the experience on previous productivity agreements, some of which are extremely good and led to increased productivity, and some of which are complete "phonies" under which the pay is granted and nothing is done about productivity. But agreement was not reached on further pilot studies. This is being further examined.