HC Deb 16 July 1970 vol 803 cc1696-7
1. Mr. John Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity whether he will obtain from the National Board for Prices and Incomes and publish its draft report on the reference to it of doctors' pay.

The Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity (Mr. Robert Carr)

No, Sir. The reference on doctors' and dentists' pay was withdrawn on 29th June, before the National Board for Prices and Incomes made its report. It would not be appropriate to publish drafts or working papers.

Mr. Fraser

Does the right hon. Gentleman understand that he is acting with a grave degree of irresponsibility in failing to publish an independent scrutiny into a 30 per cent. pay claim while at the same time saying that people with lesser pay claims and much lesser earnings are guilty of participating in a wages explosion? Will he reconsider the matter?

Mr. Carr

No, Sir, I will not reconsider it, and I am not acting in the way the hon. Gentleman describes. We regard it as inappropriate that the findings of one review body should be referred to another. The National Board for Prices and Incomes had not completed its report. No draft or provisional reports have ever been published before, nor would it be proper to do so.

Mrs. Castle

But is it not a fact that this reference was withdrawn because the outline of the report was already clear and it was known that it would be critical of the Kindersley Report? How can the right hon. Gentleman hope to persuade unions to show restraint in wage claims when the very first act of the present Government is to cover up for this highly inflationary award?

Mr. Carr

The right hon. Lady must know that what she said is not our view. It may be her view. Our view is that we shall not get responsibility in any level of industrial relations or pay negotiations until bodies which are given responsibility for coming to settlements are allowed to have their settlements stand. That is the basis for order in collective bargaining.