HC Deb 01 March 1967 vol 742 cc490-1
17. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what priority is being given to pay increases for low-paid Government workers in Her Majesty's Dockyards and other Admiralty establishments.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Navy (Mr. Maurice Foley)

The new wages structure for Government workers will cover all grades and operate from the same date.

Mr. Judd

Would my hon. Friend agree that the pay of many workers in Admiralty establishments has fallen far below that of others in outside industry, and that it must be looked at urgently if the labour force is to be retained?

Mr. Foley


Dame Joan Vickers

When the hon. Gentleman says "all grades", will he tell us if this includes the victualling yards and the armament depôts as well?

Mr. Foley

It means all industrial grades.

18. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what further progress has been made on the implementation of proposals for a new pay structure in Her Majesty's Dockyards; and when the next general increase in pay can be expected.

Mr. Foley

Discussions on a new wages structure are proceeding with the trade unions with the aim of making it effective next July.

Mr. Judd

Would my hon. Friend agree that there has been far too much reliance in the past on ineffective so-called incentive schemes such as job price contract schemes, and that we must have an adequate and suitable basic pay structure for the future well-being of the dockyards?

Mr. Foley

The National Board for Prices and Incomes has recognised that the industrial workers in the dockyards were out of line with the current rates outside. The question of an incentive scheme is something different.

Mr. Hamling

Would the hon. Gentleman tell the House what proportion of the Defence Estimates is taken up by wages and salaries, and what offers of support he has had from his right hon. and hon. Friends for increases in the Defence Estimates to take account of increased wages?

Mr. Foley

With respect, I will deal with this matter later on under the Naval Estimates.