HC Deb 05 August 1975 vol 897 c210
4. Mr. McCrindle

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she has received any representations from the CBI on the payment of supplementary benefits.

The Minister of State, Department of Health and Social Security (Mr. Brian O'Malley)

No, Sir.

Mr. McCrindle

In regard to the payment of social security benefit to strikers, does not the Minister accept that the significant share of responsibility for the welfare of families of people who may strike against the Government's pay policy this winter should fall upon the trade unions? Has any consideration been given to assisting those families by way of loans from the social security system, to be repayable on return to work? Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that we are the only civilised country that acts in such a benevolent way to strikers and their families?

Mr. O'Malley

I thought that the hon. Gentleman was against extreme views, even of those attributed to so notable a person as the President of the CBI. I am sorry that he has not behaved in such a manner this afternoon. May I point out to him that when the right hon. Member for Leeds, North-East (Sir K. Joseph) was responsible for these matters in a Conservative Government he conducted a major inquiry into the subject and created the present state of the law in respect of strikers. The present Government are not prepared to make mothers and children pawns on the board of industrial conflict.