§ Mr. Cran
Does not my right hon. Friend agree that British management must continue to resist excessive wage claims such as we are beginning to see, if for no other reason than the need to continue to improve our international competitiveness? Does he agree, further, that management must show leadership and ensure also that their own snouts are not too deeply in the pay trough?
§ Mr. Major
I am not sure that I would put the second part of my hon. Friend's question in precisely that way, but I certainly agree with the underlying sentiment. I do not defend unustifiably high salary increases, whether for directors or for the work force. That should be clear. On his substantive point, there must be a clear danger to industry and competitiveness if wage costs outstrip productivity growth. It is an important function of management to make sure that they do not.
§ Mr. Robert Sheldon
When the right hon. Gentleman meets the director general, will he explain to him something that he himself seems to be reluctant to accept—that is, how he hopes to reduce the balance of payments to a reasonable level with a high pound and high interest rates?
§ Mrs. Fyfe
When the Minister next meets the director general of the CBI, will he place on the agenda the concern of the Equal Opportunities Commission about the taxation of workplace nurseries? Will he further tell the tigress that her cubs were better looked after than the vast majority of working women's children are after 10 years of the tigress being at No. 10?