HC Deb 23 July 1979 vol 971 cc18-9
21. Mr. Peter Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he is satisfied with the present level of productivity in manufacturing industry.

The Under-Secretary of State for Industry (Mr. David Mitchell)

No, Sir.

Mr. Lloyd

Does my hon. Friend agree that if the trade unions pressed their employers to increase productivity as successfully as they press them to increase money wages their members would be much better off in real terms and unemployment would be much lower?

Mr. Mitchell

My hon. Friend has highlighted an important factor. The answer is "Yes".

Mr. Stokes

Will my hon. Friend lose no opportunity to point out, particularly during the recess, that unless we can increase production and productivity, no amount of oil will in the end save us from ruin?

Mr. Mitchell

I shall certainly do that. The key to productivity lies, not with the Government, but with management and work forces.

Miss Boothroyd

What response will the Minister give to foundry owners who, later this week, will be meeting the sector working party to seek Government assistance to reduce productivity by reducing the work force of 25,000 in the next few years?

Mr. Mitchell

The hon. Lady has misunderstood the purpose of the meeting. It certainly is not in order to reduce productivity.

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