HC Deb 22 November 1976 vol 919 cc1862-3
11. Mr. John Page

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when he now expects to publish the report of the Bullock Committee on worker participation.

Mr. Clinton Davis

I expect to receive the committee's report before the end of the year, and it will be published as soon as possible.

Mr. Page

In the light of the differences of view already expressed by a number of industrialists, trade union leaders and even, I understand, members of the committee, will the Minister ask his right hon. Friend to ensure that nothing about the implementation of the Bullock Committee is put in the Gracious Speech, so that there can be proper discussion before legislation is prepared?

Mr. Davis

I cannot anticipate what is to appear in the Gracious Speech. I regret the orchestrated campaign by the Right-wing Press to undermine the Bullock proposals before they have been published. That is a narrow, misguided and defeatist view which flies in the face of the improvements that are needed in worker-management relationships.

Mr. Greville Janner

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is considerable pressure from all sides of industry, including management, for an advance towards industrial democracy in both the public and private sectors?

Mr. Davis

That is a sensible approach.

Mr. Teddy Taylor

Is the Minister aware that his Government are not good judges of what is good for industry? Does he not agree that there is a world of difference between employee participation and trade union participation? Will he give a clear assurance that the Government will not support, or be pressurised into supporting, any plans which would involve trade unions appointing to company boards personnel who are not employees of those companies?

Mr. Davis

The hon. Member's judgment is not impeccable. He had his own views on the Common Market, from which at one time I did not dissent. He will have to contain his impatience a little concerning the contents of the Bullock Report.

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