HC Deb 13 November 1967 vol 754 cc18-9
19. Dr. John Dunwoody

asked the Minister of Labour what was the total working time lost through industrial disputes, through industrial injuries and as a result of industrial diseases, during 1966.

Mr. Hattersley

The number of days recorded as lost through stoppages of work due to industrial disputes in Great Britain in 1966 was about 2,287,000. I am informed by my right. hon. Friend the Minister of Social Security that in the period 7th June, 1965 to 4th June, 1966—the latest for which information is available—injury benefit or sickness benefit following the injury benefit period was paid for about 26½ million days and just over 1 million days, respectively, for incapacity for work caused by industrial accidents and by industrial diseases.

Dr. Dunwoody

Does not my hon. Friend agree that this puts the cost of industrial disputes in this country into its true perspective and underlines the need for a great deal more work and research into the prevention of industrial injuries and diseases?

Mr. Hattersley

Whilst I agree with every word in that question, I would not like it to be thought that the importance of one minimises the importance of the other. Clearly, both things are matters which my right hon. Friend chooses to tackle.

Mr. Manuel

Is my hon. Friend aware, in connection with industrial injuries and diseases, that many of us think that there are not enough industrial inspectors, that more should be employed and they should visit factories more often?

Mr. Hattersley

My hon. Friend will be aware of an answer given earlier this afternoon relating to a revision of the Factory Acts. No doubt, my hon. Friend will be looking forward to that.