HC Deb 01 July 1968 vol 767 c1078
57. Mr. Kenneth Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity whether she will conduct an inquiry as to the effect of higher wages on efficiency in British industry.

Mrs. Castle

No, Sir. The operation of the Government's policy for productivity, prices and incomes ensures that a close and continuing watch on the link between wages and efficiency is maintained.

Mr. Lewis

Is the right hon. Lady aware that a minute ago she said that a bad productivity deal had some merit? Does she accept that a bad productivity deal has no merit but that a good one, which gives high wages in return for extra work, is something the Department should go for to the fullest possible extent?

Mrs. Castle

I accept what the hon. Gentleman says about the importance of a good productivity deal. A "phoney" productivity deal can be very dangerous. It is valuable, none the less, that we all start thinking in productivity terms, and then it is for all those concerned in industry, with the help of my Department, to ensure that we are talking in realistic terms.