HC Deb 30 April 1974 vol 872 cc917-8
6. Mr. Biffen

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the current industrial action in the engineering industry.

Mr. Michael Foot

As a result of the agreement reached between the Engineering Employers Federation and the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions on 27th April the industry has returned to normal working.

Mr. Biffen

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that an important component sector of the engineering industry is the motor industry. The House appreciates that he has shown a charitable fraternity to Mr. Hugh Scanlon, but will he match that by an unstinted chivalry in joining my right hon. Friend the Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) and myself in congratulating Mrs. Carol Miller on the work she is doing to facilitate industrial peace at the Cowley motor works?

Mr. Foot

That is a quite different question from the one tabled by the hon. Gentleman. I think that he has misunderstood the nature of the settlement reached in the engineering industry, where it was necessary to suggest to both sides —not merely to one side—how a settlement could be reached. We are always willing to make suggestions to both sides, whether in the engineering industry or in any of the other cases mentioned by the hon. Member.

Mr. Whitelaw

Will the right hon. Gentleman now be chivalrous to the lady mentioned?

Mr. Foot

It is not a question of being chivalrous, for I am always eager to be that. It is a question of getting the facts straight.

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