HC Deb 30 April 1969 vol 782 cc1436-7
34. Mr. Ridley

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the settlement of the British Overseas Airways Corporation pilots' salary claim is within the terms of the prices and incomes policy.

Mr. Crosland

I have nothing to add to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State to the hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen) on 25th April—[Vol. 782, c. 147.]

Mr. Ridley

Without commenting either way on the settlement, which is none of my business, can the right hon. Gentleman say how a 15 per cent. average increase, from which the productivity increase strings were cut away, can possibly be regarded as coming within the terms of the Government's prices and incomes policy? Does this now mean that that policy has been jettisoned by the Government?

Mr. Crosland

The hon. Gentleman's opening words, if universally carried out in the House, would very much shorten our debates. On the merit of the matter, the hon. Gentleman is, of course, right in saying that this is a very large increase. On the other hand, it is not a straight pay increase. There is also the introduction of an entirely new system of piece work and a number of other detailed productivity matters, some of which have not yet been wholly agreed between the Corporation and B.A.L.P.A. Until we have examined the productivity aspect, it is not possible to make a more positive statement.

Mr. Brooks

Would my right hon. Friend agree that if we are to take the comparability criteria seriously, it might be a good idea to deal with the glamour boys of transport in the same way as we deal with the busmen?

Mr. Crosland

To imitate the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley), the busmen are not my responsibility; nor is the incomes policy generally. However, I have noted my hon. Friend's remarks. As I said in my original Answer, we are looking at this settlement in the light of the Government's policy.

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