HC Deb 08 November 1976 vol 919 cc25-7
16. Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what political and economic policy guidelines he intends to frame for the proposed British aerospace industry.

Mr. Kaufman

The Government will be looking towards the British Aerospace Corporation to develop a strategy based upon profitability coupled with maximum employment opportunities, with emphasis on collaborative ventures with suitable partners in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.

Mr. Adley

In view of what the Minister said about employment opportunities, and as some trade unions are bullying the managers of the nationalised industries into acceptance of the closed shop as the price they have to pay for industrial peace, can he guarantee that if this Bill appears on the statute book all those at Hawker Siddeley and BAC will have the opportunity to express their views on the closed shop in a ballot before it is imposed upon them?

Mr. Kaufman

We have inserted into the Bill unprecedented amendments which provide for progress towards industrial democracy in both British Aerospace and British Shipbuilders. That is the kind of course which is best pursued.

Mr. Tebbit

Will the Minister say whether the salaries of the directors of the proposed new corporations will be less or more than the salary which our former colleague, Mr. Edward Short, finds so inadequate at Cable and Wireless Ltd. now that he has left us?

Mr. Kaufman

The hon. Gentleman has the unique capacity—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer".] I repeat, the hon. Gentleman has the unique capacity for taking hold of trivial questions—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer the question"]— and trivialising them even further. The salaries paid to the board of British Aerospace will be commensurate with the very great abilities of the people who have agreed to serve. The staffs of BAC, Hawker Siddeley Aviation and Hawker Siddeley Dynamics have a great deal more patriotic approach to the future of this industry than have hon. Members opposite.

Mr. Molloy

Is my hon. Friend aware that the supplementary question relating to the trade unions is to the annoyance of Conservative Members because of the record of British trade unionists in achieving industrial peace? They are robbing the Tory Party of the opportunity to stab Britain in the back, and they are compelling the Leader of the Opposition to go to foreign countries to do her dirty work of running down this nation.

Mr. Kaufman

The Britsh trade union movement sets an example in patriotism which the Opposition would do well to follow.

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