asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement about the implementation of proposals in the White Paper "Wages and Conditions of African Workers Employed by British Firms in South Africa".
§ Mr. Mather
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman how he reconciles the code of practice in the White Paper with the change of law in South Africa—the second General Amendment Act 1974—which makes it illegal to declare information outside the Republic? I gather that this includes labour relations. Does not this make a nonsense of the policy in my right hon. Friend's White Paper?
§ Mr. Hooley
Will my right hon. Friend give serious consideration to a proposal that we should enact legislation requiring British companies which have widespread commercial interests abroad to pay decent rates of wages and have decent working conditions wherever they are operating?
§ Mr. Shore
That is a much wider question. We have to give consideration not only to conditions and the wages which are paid by our own companies overseas. We cannot operate in this area unilaterally without taking account of the relevant conditions and the competitive rates of pay and other provisions operated by other companies, both companies domestic to the country concerned and other foreign companies.