HC Deb 02 June 1981 vol 5 cc769-70
10. Mr. Eggar

asked the Secretary of State for Employment when last he met the president of the Confederation of British Industry to discuss productivity.

Mr. Waddington

My right hon. Friend has not had a recent meeting with the president of the CBI to deal with this specific topic, but productivity is regularly discussed at meetings of the National Economic Development Council of which both the president of the CBI and my right hon. Friend are members.

Mr. Eggar

Does not my hon. and learned Friend accept that the recent increases in productivity in British Steel and British Leyland show that significant increases can be achieved in the public as well as the private sector? Is not an increase in productivity the only hope for sustained economic recovery?

Mr. Waddington

Yes, indeed. We can all take cheer from the fact that, even at this time of economic difficulties, there have been some most important developments in British Steel and British Leyland in the areas of restrictive practices and increased productivity.

Mr. Dormand

What would the Secretary of State say to the president of the CBI about DJB Engineering Limited in my constituency, which holds three recent export awards and is recognised as a major success story in the Northern region? Is he aware that that company has decided to expand in the United States, but that although it is selling all its products it is, nevertheless, experiencing considerable difficulties? Is he aware that that company has excellent management and a dedicated and cooperative work force? Will he consult not only the CBI but his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry to decide what can be done about that issue? Is not that a classic case of the utter failure of the Government's policies?

Mr. Waddington

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is doing a service by highlighting that company's difficulties. However, it is not easy to relate those difficulties to the question and he will not expect me to answer his supplementary question now. I shall ensure that his remarks are drawn to the attention of the Secretary of State for Industry.