HC Deb 20 December 1967 vol 756 cc1261-2
12. Mr. McNamara

asked the Minister of Transport when she intends to introduce legislation to nationalise the docks.

18. Mr. Ogden

asked the Minister of Transport when she proposes to introduce legislation for the nationalisation and reorganisation of the ports.

Mrs. Castle

It is hoped to introduce the necessary legislation as soon as the Parliamentary programme allows.

Mr. McNamara

Is my right hon. Friend aware that that Answer will give great satisfaction, in view of some of the rumours which have been floating around recently? When the legislation is introduced, can she assure us that it will contain provision for workers' participation in the management of the industry?

Mrs. Castle

On the latter part of my hon. Friend's question, certainly, throughout the whole transport field, I am anxious to develop more effective means of workers' participation. The exact way of doing this in the ports is one of the matters on which consultations are now being held.

Mr. Ogden

Would my right hon. Friend use her considerable ability to bend the Parliamentary year a little? Will she assure us that this will be a major piece of legislation following her Transport Bill?

Mrs. Castle

I am afraid that I cannot give my hon. Friend that commitment, anxious as I am that this legislation should be introduced as soon as possible.

Mr. Peter Walker

Is the right hon. Lady aware that we consider this Measure one of the least sacrosanct sections of Government expenditure which the Prime Minister could review? As she has decided to proceed with the nationalisation of all the ports and docks, would she give her estimate as to the cost in compensation?

Mrs. Castle

No, certainly not. The discussions on the items involved, such as compensation, are still going on, and it would be in no way appropriate for me to deal with that.

Mr. Shinwell

Has my right hon. Friend received, in connection with this proposed legislation any representation from the Elder Brethren of Trinity House about pilots? May we have an assurance that there will be no interference in this legislation with the traditional rule of Trinity House?

Mrs. Castle

The answer is, not yet, Sir, but there will be separate consultations about pilotage.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

Will the right hon. Lady explain to her hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) that he misunderstood her Answer and that what she said, in Parliamentary terms, was that this is no longer on the priority list and is unlikely to be proceeded with in this Session?

Mrs. Castle

I am sorry, but the hon. Member has no grounds for putting that interpretation on what I said. As the House knows, we have a major piece of legislation before us in the Transport Bill, and there are other Measures relating to transport. It is not possible to get everything into one Session, but we are anxious to proceed as soon as possible and certainly within the lifetime of this Parliament.

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