HC Deb 16 July 1970 vol 803 cc1702-3
9. Sir G. Nabarro

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what steps he is taking to reduce strikes in the motor industry.

Mr. R. Carr

I am of course very conscious of the serious effects of strikes in this industry. My Department will as hitherto do what it can to help resolve disputes in the industry. The Motor Vehicle Joint Council, which was established in December last year, is working to improve procedures and pay structures, and is available to investigate, with the consent of the managements and unions concerned serious unconstitutional stoppages. It did in fact play a useful part in settling disputes in the past.

Sir G. Nabarro

Does my right hon. Friend propose to continue the arrangements whereby special troubleshooters like Sir Jack Scamp are appointed to rove far and wide over the industry and all its component ancillaries, having regard to the very serious and proliferating effect of all the strikes and stoppages?

Mr. Carr

My general philosophy is to encourage as far as we can self-responsibility within each industry. But I believe that people like Sir Jack Scamp and others can at times play a very useful part, and we do not wish to underestimate that.

Mr. Edelman

Has not experienced proved that the difficulties of this complex industry can be resolved only by a general consensus and not by piecemeal settlements? Will the Minister reconsider the proposal which I have put to him before that a national conference should be convened of all the interests involved?

Mr. Carr

Certainly I will consider that, as I have told the hon. Gentleman. I have not had a great deal of time to consider it in the past week. But I feel that the Motor Vehicle Joint Council begins to get after what is wanted by the hon. Member. We must be careful about more conferences sometimes causing delay in action rather than expendition.

Back to