HC Deb 22 July 1968 vol 769 cc9-10
10. Mr. Dance

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he has now completed his discussions with the trade unions on the Mann Committee Report; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Mellish

There have been three Reports by the Mann Committee. Discussions with the trade unions on the 1st Report, which dealt mainly with the methods of executing maintenance and minor works by contract, were concluded some time ago.

Discussions with the trade unions on the 2nd Report have just commenced, and are continuing. None have yet taken place on the 3rd Report.

I am unable to make a statement at this stage of the discussions.

Mr. Dance

There seems to have been an awful lot of delay here. Can the Minister say what proportion of the maintenance work of his Deparament will in future be continually done by direct labour?

Mr. Mellish

As a matter of fact, the proportions of maintenance work done by direct labour and contract labour are about 40 per cent. and 60 per cent. respectively. This concerns the whole Department and many thousands of staff. As I see my job, it is first to improve management, because direct labour cannot be complained about unless management is right. I am also having discussions with the trade unions.