HC Deb 31 October 1966 vol 735 cc29-30
48. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Minister of Labour if he will discuss with Vauxhall Motors Limited the average numbers which they hope to employ at Luton and Dunstable, respectively, for the years 1967, 1968, 1969, and 1970.

Mr. Gunter

My local officers are in frequent touch with Vauxhall Motors about future developments in employment. The firm has also co-operated with my Department in studies of future employment trends by providing forecasts up to 1968 and longer-term indications of changes in occupational structure.

Mr. Roberts

I am grateful for that Answer and I am sure that the Minister will agree with me that long-term planning of this kind is essential if we are to avoid redundancies in this type of industry every few years. Will he further agree with me that the Government are a vital third party in any discussion between men and management in this field?

Mr. Gunter

I would agree on both points.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Does not the Minister agree that while it is important for a firm such as Vauxhalls to negotiate and liaise with his own Ministry, it would be wrong to disclose the figures of people they hope to employ five years hence in view of the possibility of giving information to competitors?

Mr. Gunter

I am grateful to the hon. Member for making the point and for allowing me to point out that the figures are given to us in confidence and will be retained as such.