HC Deb 11 June 1974 vol 874 cc1385-6
3. Mr. Stanley

asked the Secretary of State for Employment when the conciliation and arbitration service will come into being.

The Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Michael Foot)

Consultations are now proceeding and I intend to establish the new service just as quickly as possible.

Mr. Stanley

In view of the valuable contribution which has been made by the Commission on Industrial Relations during the past five years, will the Secretary of State give to the House the two assurances which he gave upstairs this morning, namely, that the CIR will not be wound up until its functions can be assumed by the conciliation and arbitration service and, secondly, that the valuable in-depth research and investigation work into certain aspects of industrial relations which has been carried on by the commission will be carried on by the CAS?

Mr. Foot

I do not think it is proper for me to refer to proceedings which have taken place in Committee. The proceedings will be reported to the House, when I have no doubt that those aspects can be dealt with. The undertakings I have given elsewhere certainly hold good in the House of Commons.

Mr. Radice

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the principle of the CAS has ready support from both sides of industry? Will he accept that the reason for that support is that people in industry, unlike some Conservative Members, understand the need for a genuinely independent body which can deal not only with conciliation and arbitration matters but also with the strategic functions now carried out by the CIR?

Mr. Foot

I agree with my hon. Friend. We are gratified at the response from both sides of industry to our proposals, and we hope that everybody will join in giving the new organisation a flying start.

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