HC Deb 20 December 1967 vol 756 cc1251-2
31. Mrs. Knight

asked the Minister of Transport if she will now give an undertaking that she will include provision to ensure the maintenance of the various benevolent funds connected with private transport undertakings in the legislation concerning them that she proposes to put before Parliament.

Mr. John Morris

I assume that the hon. Lady is referring to funds maintained by contributions from employees for their mutual aid. No new legislative provisions are needed to permit the continuance of such funds.

Mrs. Knight

Will the Parliamentary Secretary accept that there is considerable concern among private enterprise transport undertaking employees, who have hitherto been extremely well looked after in the schemes made by the employers? Is he aware that they are anxious to hear that the arrangements that have been made will be continued, bearing in mind that if this is not done some of them stand to lose over £100?

Mr. Morris

The provisions of the Transport Bill, which I hope the hon. Lady will read, are exactly in line with those in the Transport Act, 1962. I am advised that there is no need for further legislative proposals; that the T.H.C. has been able to acquire companies since 1962 on exactly the same basis and has been able to maintain the funds concerned on a right and proper basis.

Mr. Mapp

Will my hon. Friend realise that, whether it is in public or private enterprise, this is a very sensitive area and, if it does not call for statutory provision, will he undertake to ensure that administrative action will deal with this kind of thing very sympathetically?

Mr. Morris

I can assure my hon. Friend that no legislative provisions are needed. The Transport Holding Company has agreed that there is no need or intention to interfere with the continuance of some of the funds that have been in question, and that this will apply to similar funds that have not yet been raised in issue. There is no difficulty at all here. We are working on exactly the same basis as is in the 1962 Act.