HC Deb 26 November 1990 vol 181 cc617-8
39. Mr. Skinner

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service when he last met civil service trade union leaders to discuss conditions of service.

The Minister of State, Privy Council Office (Mr. David Mellor)

I have not yet met the civil service trade union leaders; I shall of course do so as and when necessary.

Mr. Skinner

If and when the Minister's friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, becomes Prime Minister and introduces his classless society, will he ensure that civil servants get an extra bonus for introducing Bills to carry through that classless society—Bills to abolish the honours list, the public schools, the House of Lords and the royal family, and retrospective legislation to get rid of all those knighthoods of the Tory Members who voted for the right hon. Member for Henley (Mr. Heseltine)?

Mr. Mellor

I shall ask my right hon. Friend to give that most careful consideration.

Mr. Bowis

I hope that my right hon. and learned Friend will find time to introduce a Bill to preserve the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner).

When my right hon. and learned Friend talks to the civil service will he make a point of discussing the opening hours of museums and galleries, especially at weekends, on bank holidays and in the evenings when families, particularly children, could visit them if they were open?

Mr. Mellor

That is a good point. Like my hon. Friend, I represent an inner London constituency where many people like to go to museums and galleries. Family times do not necessarily fit in with opening times. There is a difficult balance to be struck. Perhaps my hon. Friend would write to me in more detail about his opinions. I shall meet the directors of museums and galleries before Christmas and I should be interested in discussing his proposals with them.

Mr. Winnick

I am not as optimistic as my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) that if the Minister's favoured candidate becomes Prime Minister he will produce a classless society. Is there any opportunity of the people at GCHQ once again having the right to belong to a trade union if the Chancellor of the Exchequer becomes Prime Minister, or are we going to continue with the autocratic rule of the Thatcher years?

Mr. Mellor

We are going to continue with the common sense settlement that was reached a few years ago. There is absolutely no reason to reopen the matter.

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