HC Deb 22 June 1972 vol 839 cc683-4
1. Mr. Judd

asked the Minister of State for Defence whether he will now make a statement on the arrangements which he is making to improve the pay scales of civilian employees in Ministry of Defence establishments including naval dockyards.

The Minister of State for Defence (Lord Balniel)

Rates of pay for the Industrial Civil Service, which covers civilian industrial employees in the Ministry of Defence, are negotiated on the Joint Co-ordinating Committee for Government Industrial Establishments. An offer, including a £1.50 general pay increase from July, 1972, for adult men together with a further step towards equal pay for women, was made on 1st June and rejected. Negotiations on the committee are continuing.

Mr. Judd

Does the Minister realise that there is an increasing feeling among civilians employed in those establishments that the Government are trading on their traditional loyalty and using them deliberately as a brake on the economy? Does he realise that the offer to which he has referred is totally inadequate to make good the ground which has been lost in the face of the rising cost of living? Can he assure the House that the Government are determined that these important public servants will be in the forefront of the Government's attention when considering what should be proper remuneration in the face of the Government's failure to control inflation?

Lord Balniel

Yes, of course it is the Government's purpose to ensure proper remuneration for those who are employed in the Government service. The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that it would be inappropriate for me to anticipate the outcome of negotiations which are at the moment continuing; and a further meeting has been arranged for 26th June.

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