HC Deb 24 March 1970 vol 798 cc1185-6
7. Mr. Geoffrey Wilson

asked the Minister of Transport what is the estimated additional cost to the taxpayer resulting from the compulsory purchase, under the provisions of the Ports Bill, of such additional ancillary businesses falling within the ambit of the Bill on the basis that the Bristow Committee's recommendations were implemented.

Mr. Mulley

The first Report of the Bristow Committee was concerned with the definition of dock work in the Port of London. I am advised that adoption of its recommendations would not affect the number of port businesses liable to vesting under Part II of the Ports Bill.

Mr. Wilson

Would it not be a good idea if the Government made a statement on what they are to do about the recommendations of the Bristow Report, because, apart from the question of Part II of the Bill where that applies, might not Section 42 of the Transport Act also be involved as to what was and what was not dock work and the conditions of labour?

Mr. Mulley

I do not think this would have any bearing on either Section 42 or Part II of the Ports Bill. The Bristow Report and the Ports Bill deal with different subjects, and, despite what is sometimes suggested outside, the Ports Bill does not in any way alter or amend the Dock Labour Scheme. Therefore, it would not have the kind of effect the hon. Member suggests. My right hon. Friend the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity is responsible for the working of the Dock Labour Scheme and for taking a decision on the Bristow Report. She is very much concerned with this matter and is receiving representations about it.

Mr. Michael Heseltine

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is urgent for his right hon. Friend to publish views on the Bristow inquiry and to agree to set up a public inquiry to clarify all these issues which are causing such anxiety in the transport industry?

Mr. Mulley

I shall certainly convey the hon. Member's views to my right hon. Friend, but I know that she is only too well able to look after her own affairs without assistance from me.