HL Deb 20 February 1964 vol 255 cc985-1023

3.35 p.m.

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Viscount Blakenham.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The LORD AILWYN in the Chair.]

Clause 1 [Establishment of industrial training boards]:


This Amendment relates to a simple drafting point. The "Secretary of State" is mentioned in at least two places in the Bill, but nowhere is it defined which Secretary of State this happens to be. At the present time there are in the Government some seven Secretaries of State, and I think anybody reading this Bill, when it becomes an Act, ought to be quite clear in his mind which Secretary of State is referred to. I would know, and I am sure the noble Lord opposite would, but I think people reading this Bill in future ought to be clear that it is the Secretary of State for Scotland who is referred to in the two places I have referred to. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 1, line 20, at end insert ("'Secretary of State' means the Secretary of State for Scotland").—(Lord Champion.)


I am grateful for the chance the noble Lord has given me by this Amendment of clearing up a point which has puzzled a number of people, and formerly puzzled me. The Bill refers in a number of places to a mysterious individual who is called "the Secretary of State". If we look at the Ministers of the Crown we see there are a number of Secretaries of State—for Foreign Affairs, Air, and so on. Indeed, they are shortly to be joined by the Secretary of State for Education. But there is no one who is commonly called "the Secretary of State". In this Bill the phrase "the Secretary of State" means the Secretary of State for Scotland, I am happy to assure your Lordships that, in practice, it will never be interpreted in any other sense.

Straightforward laymen like the noble Lord, Lord Champion, and myself might, therefore, think on first reaction that there is nothing to stop the Bill from saying "the Secretary of State for Scotland". It is at that point that the lawyers come into the picture. For they say that, in law, all Secretaries of State are equal; their duties are interchangeable and, therefore, it is accepted practice for Statutes to refer to "the Secretary of State" without specifying which particular Secretary of State. I hope this explanation satisfies the noble Lord. It is purely a point of constitutional law, without any practical effect on the working of the Bill, under which, as I have already said, the phrase will always be interpreted to mean the Secretary of State for Scotland.


I hope that the noble Lord opposite will agree with my noble friend who has just spoken. It has always been a well-known fact to me that constitutionally all Secretaries of State are co-equal. When I was Secretary of State for Scotland I was empowered on more than one occasion to sign for the Home Secretary or the Secretary of State for War if they were absent. Therefore, it does not mean that the Secretary of State for Scotland during his presence will necessarily operate, but that all Secretaries of State may. Indeed, with all respect to the retired Prime Minister, there should be no such thing as a First Secretary of State, because Secretaries of State are co-equal.


I am grateful to the noble Viscount for his explanation. It seems to me that all Secretaries of State are equal, but some are more equal than others, and that would appear to apply to the Secretary of State for Scotland. In the circumstances, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD CHAMPION moved to add to subsection (4): The Minister shall also publish a notice inviting representations from employers actively engaged in the activities concerned.

The noble Lord said: Clause 1 of the Bill empowers the Minister to make an Order setting up industrial training boards, and subsection (4) places upon the Minister the duty to consult organisations of employers and employees appearing to him to have obligations in this matter. This seems to be a sensible thing to do, and the only point I would make here is that the subsection as drafted could exclude a firm which might have some substantial contribution to make but might not be within the inner circle of an employers' association, or indeed might not be an actual member of that organisation. But these employers will have to make a contribution to the levy which will be imposed by the Minister as a result of the recommendations of the industrial training boards concerned.

Far be it from me to stand up here and advocate non-unionism even among employers. I certainly, as a trade unionist, always like to deal with a federation of employers, and it is much the easier thing to do. But, in this connection, I think there is something to be said for the old principle of no taxation without representation, and the employers or firms such as I have mentioned, not necessarily within the inner circle, or not indeed members of these organisations, ought to have an opportunity to express views before the Minister makes the Order setting up the industrial board. I think in this connection there is something to be said for the Amendment, which at least would invite by public notice representation from such firms, and, as it is a public notice, it would also invite representations from employers who might have views not wholly in line with the organisation of which they are members.

I do not think publication of such a notice would delay the setting up of the boards. If I thought it would, I should not be moving this Amendment, because I am conscious of the fact that the whole matter of the setting up of these training boards is one of considerable urgency. In the circumstances that I have mentioned, however, I think that such a notice should be published and that the views of people other than those actually representing organisations of employers and employees should be made known. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 10, at end insert the said words.—(Lord Champion.)


I appreciate the concern expressed by the noble Lord to see that my right honourable friend not only consults organisations of employers, but also affords individual employers ample opportunity to express their views. I think this is right, and I can assure the noble Lord that it is the intention of my right honourable friend to make public his intention to establish a training board for a given industry, so that any interested persons can make representations to him. As I understand it, that is really what the noble Lord would like him to do. I think I can give him an assurance that this will happen.

I should not be happy to accept this Amendment. All through the Bill—and I think the noble Lord hinted at this—it is made clear that in establishing a board or the Council, the Minister has a duty to consult with organisations of employers and employees. The noble Lord used the words that he was the last person who would wish to preach non-unionism, even among employers. I think he is right there. It is because it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to encourage effective and responsible organisations of employers and workers that it would be difficult to accept this Amendment. It would, I feel, imply that the Minister must formally take into account, if not actually consult—and in this respect the wording is a little ambiguous—individual employers, and I feel that this might be an unfortunate departure. I hope that, with that brief explanation, the noble Lord will consider withdrawing this Amendment.


I should like to intervene for a few moments on this question. I appreciate the Minister's point of view, in so far as he accepts the Amendment in spirit but not in the letter. I wish to refer to one or two large organisations within the motor industry to which this could well apply. It so happens that in the motor industry some of these large firms are not within the employers' organisations. In the light of the remarks made in rejecting the Amendment, I hope that due consideration has been given to this fact.


It is true that Ford's and Vauxhall's are not members of the British Employers' Confederation. But they are members of the Federation of British Industries and of the British Association of Motor Manufacturers; and those organisations will be consulted automatically by the Minister before he sets up the Board.


So far as I can see, before setting up the board for, say, the engineering industry, the Minister will have to consult representatives of that particular industry. Does that mean that those outside will somehow be brought in? There is some little difficulty which might arise here. The fact that the Minister is going to make such an order might come to the attention of Ford's, as mentioned by my noble friend, who would then feel free, not having been invited to make representations to the Minister. Will the Minister try to make it clear by some other means than through a part of this Bill that such representations will be well received and considered by the Minister before actually setting up the boards?


I thought I made it clear to the noble Lord, Lord Hobson, that the particular examples he gave would be covered by the fact that the particular firms he had in mind were, in fact members of associations which were connected with the engineering industry and would be consulted. In addition, I pointed out that there is nothing to stop individual employers from making their own representations after the Minister has made public his intention to set up a board.


Having regard to the fact that our point is to be met, I ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2:

Functions of industrial training board

2.—(1) An industrial training board—

3.45 p.m.

LORD LINDGREN moved to add to subsection (1): (h) may make compulsory provision for day release or block release for trainees in the industry.

The noble Lord said: To me, at least, this Amendment is a fundamental one. As I said during the Second Reading debate, what caused me to be rather depressed was what the Minister said about the possibilities of this Bill. It is a fact that for 50 years there has been the possibility of day release of youngsters up to the age of 18. Between the wars, local authorities tried extremely hard to persuade employers to take advantage of the Education Act, and to facilitate the day release of young boys and girls to take part in further education. Let us be quite honest about it: in spite of the efforts that were made, they were singularly ineffective with the vast majority of employers. In passing, let us remember that in those inter-war years the school-leaving age was 14.

It is true that since 1945 we have made a little more progress in securing co-operation with employers for day release. Some employers have been extremely good, and it is an interesting fact that where employers have no training schemes within their own organisation, or in association with local authorities, they are co-operating in regard to day release. Yet in spite of the fact that there have been these groups of large employers who have co-operated fully, only one-third of the boys under 18 and one-twelfth of the girls under 18 in industry have been receiving day-release instruction. That shows that something more than persuasion is needed if we are to secure day release. I am certain that, in spite of the fact that local authorities use the good employers to try to persuade the other employers, we shall not make much progress without some further compulsion.

I make this point a fundamental one, because this Bill is, quite rightly, a basis for the improvement of industrial training in this country. Unless we get the basic education right, a great deal of money will be wasted in so far as schemes for further industrial training are concerned. Perhaps "wasted" is the wrong term, but at any rate, without a good basic education, the training schemes are not likely to be so effective. Until 1970 youngsters will be leaving school at 15. As I said on Second Reading, it is a fact that, so far as youngsters are concerned, the appreciation of what they are missing from school comes after they have left school. Nowhere in my local government experience have I found that where day release has been granted by employers the youngster has not been enthusiastic for it. The youngsters themselves have been co-operative, as well as the employers. I feel that we should have the compulsion in association with the training schemes for this day release until the age of 18.

The Amendment says "may make compulsory". For myself, I should have preferred the words "shall make compulsory". But always being modest in my requests, I am content to make it permissive under this Bill. None the less, I think this is fundamental to the success of the Bill. We all want it to be a success because, as the Minister said in introducing the Bill on Second Reading, future industrial activity depends on the skills of the workpeople in it and the Bill is aimed to provide the opportunity for training for those skills. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 3, line 7, at end insert the said subsection.—(Lord Lindgren.)


I hope the Minister will see fit to accept this Amendment, particularly in view of the fact that he was for some time Minister of Labour when he was in another place. I want to put two specific points to the noble Lord. The first is that large, basic industrial firms already provide what this Amendment is really asking for. They give general practical training of a first-class character. Some do this in their own time, and give the necessary theoretical training, and some give release for young people to attend schools and technical institutes. But there are, secondly, a large number of medium-sized firms—I do not wish to mention them; it would hardly be fair; but I am sure the noble Lord knows precisely the firms I have in mind—who give very effective technical training by highly-skilled artisans but will not give time off to allow the young people to acquire the necessary theoretical training.

This seems to me to be very unfair on two counts. First, if you are to get promotion in modern industry it is necessary not only that you should be a good craftsman, but that you should have a good theoretical background. Therefore, if this training scheme is to be really worth while and we are to get competent foremen and superintendents, it seems to me essential, as industry becomes more complicated and, to use an almost blessed word, automation is developed, that the worker should be a good craftsman, but absolutely essential that he should have some good, sound, theoretical knowledge. This, frankly, can be given only in the classroom, by teachers of a different kind.

As I said, large firms provide for this, but many of the medium-size firms, who play a very important rôle in our industrial life, do not do so, and this Amend-mend is designed to cover that situation. Therefore I hope that the noble Lord will think of the experience and knowledge which he acquired as Minister of Labour, which is very considerable. He knows the problem as well as I do, and I hope he will see fit to accept what I consider to be this very modest yet essential Amendment, which will make the Bill infinitely better than it is at the moment.


I do not quarrel at all with much of what the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, and the noble Lord, Lord Hobson, have just said. I think that what they said is quite true. In many firms, generally the larger ones, there are first-class training arrangements which, very often, are linked with local education authorities, in the form of either day-release or block-release courses, and so on. But the problem is not quite so easy as the noble Lords made out. I do not dissent at all from anything that either of them has said about the importance of day and block release of young people. We know that a continuance of their general education is vital to large numbers of young people when they leave school and go into industry. Certainly, as a Government, we are anxious to stimulate release by employers.

But, having gone as far as that with both noble Lords, and having said what I have just said, I do not believe it is right that we should accept this Bill as the means of changing encouragement into compulsion. The noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, used the word "compulsion" on a number of occasions. This is where I want to quarrel with him. I think that to introduce a provision of this compulsive nature would be contrary to the whole concept of the Bill. The only thing that an employer is to be compelled to do under the Bill is to pay a levy. No employer is required to train, or to train in a particular way. The boards' policies are to be set out as recommendations, and not as commands. This is the whole concept behind the Bill.

I do not know whether the noble Lord remembers, but I remarked on Second Reading that, even so, there still remains a very powerful instrument within, the hands of the boards to achieve the sort of object the noble Lord has in mind. The boards will have an influence on all this because, in the course of approving training schemes, they will consider not only the training that takes place within the particular firms in an industry but also the provision of further education. I think I made it clear on Second Reading that it would be quite within the power of a board to make it a condition of approval of a firm's training arrangements that there shall be day or block release for its trainees. Of course, if a firm did not comply with the board's recommendation in that respect, that particular firm would receive no grant from the board although it would be paying out a levy.

I think your Lordships will agree, therefore, that although the boards will not be able to make day release compulsory, they will none the less be in a position to provide a powerful and, I think, effective incentive to firms to release their young people for courses of further education. I believe this is the right way to tackle the question—it is in the spirit of the Bill—rather than through compulsion as suggested by both the noble Lords. I believe they know that a special Committee has been set up by the Minister of Education, the Henniker-Heaton Committee, whose terms of reference are to consider the means by which day release can be improved and stimulated, and that the Minister of Education announced at the end of last month that the Committee's report is likely to be received at a fairly early date. With that explanation—I am not unsympathetic but I think I have given reasons why this Amendment will be against the spirit of the Bill—I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, will consider withdrawing his Amendment.


The Minister said that he did not feel we ought to use this Bill for compulsion. It seems to me that we ought to take the opportunity which this Bill gives us to provide a framework for future industrial training in industry, and we ought here to be making the necessary provision, even if it is in anticipation of what the Minister of Education may do after he receives the report of the Henniker-Heaton Committee. This is the point we have in mind here: that we feel strongly that there ought to be an element of compulsion in the Bill. The noble Viscount himself has said that the Bill in part makes compulsory provision for certain things, including the levy—a very important provision, because this levy is going to fall heavily on some sections of the industry, and it is quite right that it should.

I would say that the whole principle behind the Bill is not one which lays stress on the voluntary aspects of this matter; rather is it that some compulsion should be applied to industry really to set about this job, which is so urgent, of producing skilled, trained men, craftsmen and others, for the nation's future needs. Our trouble is, as the noble Lord, Lord Hobson, has pointed out, that the voluntary principle in all too many cases has failed. If we take the distributive trades, they have a quite scandalous record in connection with this whole business of training and particularly day release and block release. 7.6 per cent. of those young people employed in the distributive trades are in fact getting day and block release. Insurance and banking, who surely ought to be setting an example in this field, have 9 per cent. This is really a ridiculous figure, and I believe some element of compulsion will have to enter into this if this job is going to be done.

Over the week-end I read in an Esso magazine an article on apprenticeships by Lady Williams, professor of social economics at London University. She says: Will this scheme be effective in increasing the quantity and raising the quality of skilled manpower? The answer to this question depends on whether the Act of Parliament setting up the boards lays upon them certain statutory duties or whether it leaves them to decide their work entirely for themselves. That training for industry should be left to voluntary agreements has long been one of the sacred cows of this country, but postwar experience has proved conclusively that this particular idol is no longer worthy of worship. I agree absolutely and entirely with Lady Williams in this connection, and I believe this point of day release and block release is going to be absolutely fundamental to the future of this job of industrial training. I sincerely hope, despite what the noble Viscount, Lord Blakenham, has said, that he will think again and tell us that he has some idea that on the Report stage he will put down an Amendment to cover this point, even if he will not accept it at this stage. I feel that in putting down this Amendment my noble friend used the word "may" where he ought to have used the word "shall". I do hope we get this principle embodied in the Bill, because the voluntary system has definitely failed.


Perhaps I may add one point. The Minister based his argument against this Amendment on the fact that the boards would have power to make schemes and insist on day release as a condition of approval of a scheme. These schemes will in fact apply only to the firms who are keen enough to organise training within their own firm. But it will be in the other firms, the firms who do not bother, who are content to pay the levy and not get it back, where the need for day release will be greatest. Therefore, I should have thought this Amendment was even more desirable than the principle the noble Viscount adumbrated. I hope he will consider this matter again and allow compulsion, which he has already explained exists in effect in the power to make schemes and insist on the inclusion of day release within the schemes, to make it universal and apply it to the less enthusiastic firms as well.


To answer the point of the noble Lord, Lord Taylor, I think that there will be a considerable incentive to a firm to qualify for grant and not merely pay out in the form of a levy. Therefore, I think the noble Lord rather underestimates the effect on the firms he has

in mind. I think they will find it is a considerable drain, and there is obviously a real incentive for them to carry out the recommendations of the board in order to qualify for the grants which will be available if they do so. I think the levies may be substantial, and therefore a firm will have to think very carefully before it refuses to carry out the recommendations of the board.

The noble Lord, Lord Champion, as I know from experience in another place, argues very effectively, and I should like to agree to his suggestion, but I really cannot because this goes against the whole principle of the Bill. This is not a compulsory Bill except in so far as it lays down that the boards shall impose a levy. Nobody is keener on day release and block release than I am, but to use this Bill as a vehicle for making them compulsory is, I think, a wrong use of the Bill and against the principles contained in it.


I must say I am sincerely disappointed at the attitude of the Minister. I cannot get away from the fact that after fifty years the Minister of Education has had to set up a special committee in order to consider conditions in which day and block release might be stimulated. As I, and the Minister, have said so often, we are not here concerned with the best employers. The best employers will provide much better conditions than we shall in general secure under this Bill. It is the laggard with whom we are concerned. The people who evade the Factory Acts will be the people who try to evade this Bill also. Therefore, I think it would be a help to those making the schemes if it were written into the Bill that day release or block release should be a condition, and I would advise my noble friends to divide on this Amendment.

4.12 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 3) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 29; Not-Contents, 62.

Addison, V. Douglas of Barloch, L. Hobson, L.
Attlee, E. Gaitskell, B. Kirkwood, L.
Champion, L. [Teller.] Henderson, L. Lindgren, L.
Chorley, L. Henley, L. Listowel, E.
Longford, E. Sainsbury, L. Walston L.
Meston, L. St. Davids, V. Williams, L.
Middleton, L. Sandford, L. Williamson, L.
Ogmore, L. Shepherd, L. [Teller.] Wise, L.
Peddie, L. Summerskill, B. Wootton of Abinger, B.
Rea, L. Taylor, L.
Aberdare, L. Dilhorne, L. (L. Chancellor.) Merrivale, L.
Ailwyn, L. Ebbisham, L. Milverton, L.
Aldington, L. Ellenborough, L. Molson, L.
Alport, L. Elliot of Harwood, B. Newton, L.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Falkland, V. Northchurch, B.
Auckland, L. Ferrers, E. Redesdale, L.
Balerno, L. Fortescue, E. St. Oswald, L.
Beauchamp, E. Gage, V. Sandys, L.
Bethell, L. Goschen, V. [Teller.] Sandwich, E.
Blakenham, V. Greenway, L. Selkirk, E.
Boston, L. Grenfell, L. Simon, V.
Brocket, L. Hanworth, V. Sinclair of Cleeve, L.
Carrington, L. Hastings, L. Somers, L.
Cawley, L. Hawke, L. Spens, L.
Clwyd, L. Hereford, V. Stuart of Findhorn, V.
Conesford, L. Horsbrugh, B. Suffield, L.
Cottesloe, L. Howard of Glossop, L. Swanborough, B.
Croft, L. Long, V. Swinton, E.
Daventry, V. Lothian, M. Teynham, L.
Denham, L. [Teller.] Luke, L. Tweedsmuir, L.
Derwent, L. Massereene and Ferrard, V.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 2 agreed to.

Clause 3 agreed to.

Clause 4:


4.—(1) For the purpose of raising money towards meeting its expenses an industrial training board shall from time to time impose, in accordance with an order made by the Minister (in this section referred to as a levy order), a levy on employers in the industry, other than such (if any) as may be exempted by the levy order or the industrial training order.

4.17 p.m.

LORD CHAMPION moved to add to subsection (1): Such exemptions shall be confined to employers employing 5 persons or less.

The noble Lord said: Clause 4 deals with the levy and the exemptions that may be granted by the Minister, after representations and recommendations by the industrial training boards. It seems to me that subsection (1) of this clause provides a net, the mesh of which may be much too wide. Unless some guidance is given by the Minister to the boards, the exemptions may be of employers who clearly ought to be brought within the scope of having to pay their share of the levy, which, as I said on a previous Amendment, is bound to be considerable.

Few of the small firms or employers have any training schemes, or the facilities to train craftsmen. The result is that these small firms are exactly those who have to poach their skilled labour from the larger firms who have training schemes. Of course, some of these small firms will also, unless this whole thing is carefully watched, poach from the people who will have to pay considerable contributions to the levy, while they, the small firms, may escape payment altogether. I believe it to be the case that over a quarter of the firms in manufacturing industry employ between 11 and 24 workers. In total, that amounts to 14,000 firms. How many firms there are in manufacturing industry which fall below the figure of 11 employees, I do not know. Clearly, they must be pretty substantial. There are a number of these small workshops about the country where a small number of employees are employed. In commerce I think that the percentage of small firms must be much higher than in the manufacturing industry. I should think the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, might be able to tell us something about the large number of small firms in commerce who employ fewer than five employees. I am sure that this would apply to the building industry.

The Minister in Committee in another place said that the great bulk of the cost was going to be borne by the industry and that this was going to mean a high levy. Then, in reply to a point put to him on the exemption part of the subsection, he said that the extent to which the boards would wish to exclude people would be determined by the feeling that they would not wish others to escape a levy which they themselves were paying. I believe that there is much to be said for the Minister's point of view. It may also be argued that the figure of 5 which we put in our Amendment may well be too high in some of the industries covered by this Bill. In putting these last two points, I am to some extent arguing against my own Amendment, and if the Minister says that, I will admit that it is perfectly true. But this is rather in the nature of a probing Amendment designed to extract from the noble Viscount—who is very much the progenitor of this Bill—how the Government's mind is working, and what sort of guidance the Minister of Labour proposes to give to the boards on this matter of possible exemptions. I hope that when the noble Viscount comes to reply he will be able to help us in this matter as to what size of firm will be exempted and in what industries he thinks this will apply.

Amendment moved— Page 4, line 15, at end insert the said words.—(Lord Champion.)


I should like to say a few words in support of what has been said by my noble friend Lord Champion. A very important principle is involved here. Running through the debate like a thread was the suggestion that all firms, no matter how small they may be, should be under some obligation to contribute to the training that is going on. We all know that a small firm is not able to carry out an effective training scheme. If they are going to be exempted, then some of them will be employing skilled men although making no contribution whatsoever. In other words, they will be taking skilled men whose training has been paid for by other employers in the industry. Surely the noble Viscount opposite must agree that some figure ought to be laid down, and that although it may well not be five it ought not to be too high.


In answer to the two noble Lords, I would say that it is true that the power for a board to exempt firms from the requirement to pay levy was included mainly because we thought it necessary in some cases to exempt the smallest employers. That does not mean that the Government do not agree with the general principle laid down by both noble Lords that we want the largest number of employers possible to be included in the levy. I noticed the spirit in which the noble Lord moved his Amendment, when he said that it was really of a probing nature, but I feel that it would do little more than to make specific the purpose for which we are providing the power of exemption.

I believe the Amendment would be too restrictive in its effects. It would not achieve what noble Lords have in mind. There may be instances—and I quote the case of sheltered workshops, as one possible example—where the criterion of exclusion should not be one of size at all. It would be a pity to phrase the clause in such a way that a board was unable by virtue of this Amendment to exempt sheltered workshops and other establishments of this sort from the requirements of the levy. I am sure neither of the noble Lords who has spoken on this Amendment would wish that to happen. I hope the boards will bear in mind the emphasis which both noble Lords have made, and an emphasis which I have supported, on the principle that virtually every employer in an industry should be required to pay the appropriate levy. But, as I have indicated, one of the effects of this Amendment would be to encourage small employers in the view that they could expect to be exempted from the levy. I do not think your Lordships will agree that this is the right thing for us to do. Therefore, with that explanation, I suggest to the noble Lord that it would be best, in the interests of his own argument as well as of mine, to withdraw this Amendment.


The noble Viscount has given a very fair explanation, which I, for my part, accept. He has said that he appreciates that this is a probing Amendment. I should like to ask him whether he can give an assurance on certain lines. I well recollect that during the war, when I was at the Ministry of Aircraft Production, there were thousands of very small firms working on small components. Such firms employed very few people, and there was probably one skilled fitter or turner or machinist in charge. Surprisingly, although many of us at the end of the war thought many of these small firms would automatically revert to what they had been doing before the war, we found, particularly in the Midlands and on the periphery of London, that such small firms, although employing very few people, continued to carry out important and sometimes highly-skilled work on a couple of machines.

While I accept entirely what the noble Viscount has said, I should like to ask him one question. Will he see that his Department is made aware of this situation, to enable them to give some instructions to the boards, so that this matter will not be overlooked? It boils down to the fact that it is very unfair to the firms who do play the game. One does not want to force people to do things; we like legislation if possible to be permissive. I hope there will be a general aide memoire to the Department, when this matter goes out to the boards, so that they shall bear in mind these very small firms which carry out important work.


I cannot give any assurances, but I sympathise with what the noble Lord has just said. I made clear on Second Reading that part of the point of this Bill is to impose penalties in the form of the levy on those firms which do not play the game. On that I am at one with the noble Lord. I will draw the attention of my right honourable friend the Minister of Labour to this part of our debate on the Committee stage, and inform him that I have a great deal of sympathy with the purpose behind this probing Amendment.


I agree with my noble friend when he says that we have extracted from the noble Viscount in charge of the Bill the sort of statement we rather hoped he would make. In the circumstances, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

On Question, Whether Clause 4 shall stand part of the Bill?


On the Question, "Whether the Clause shall stand part of the Bill", I should like to raise one point. References have been made today to the penalty which arises in relation to the payment of the levy. Subsection (3), line 24, says: … the levy shall become due and recoverable … Whilst I am sure machinery is intended for the recovery of any levy, I cannot see in the Bill what machinery is to be used. I do not want to appear pessimistic all the time, but having dealt over a long period of time with some of the employers who are likely to avoid the intention of the Bill, I am certain that if there is a loophole, they will avoid payment. I should like the Minister to give some explanation of the machinery for the recovery of the levy from such a firm.


I am delighted that the noble Lord is looking less pessimistic. I can give him an answer to this particular point. The boards will, in fact, be able to sue in the civil courts for the recovery of the levy.


Before the Question is put, I should like to put one other point before the Committee and before the noble Viscount who is in charge of the Bill. On Second Reading I was rash enough to make, off the cuff, a suggestion about the possibility of recovering from subsequent employers who were not subject to levy, part of the cost of training skilled men in their employment. I am afraid that I put it rather roughly, and perhaps not very intelligently; indeed, I find, on reading Hansard. that I suggested that the payment should be paid out of wages, which of course was incorrect. Naturally, what I meant was a levy in relation to wages.

It seems to me, taking the simplest case, that this situation can well arise with a skilled engineer, let us say, employed in the soft drinks industry. It may be a long time before the soft drinks industry gets around to having an industrial training board. It is a very small industry and the question of a training board may never arise. Yet the employer pays no levy whatever, either in advance or in arrears, in respect of an engineer employed in the soft drinks industry. I should like to ask the noble Viscount whether he considers that the clause as drafted would permit a levy supposing that it were decided, in the wisdom of the people who discuss these matters, to introduce a scheme of that kind. I ask this because the clause provides only for a levy to be raised from firms in the industry; and the industry "is defined in Clause 1 as the industry" in relation to an industrial "training board". So it seems to me that, if it were thought wise to introduce a scheme, there would be no provision whatever for recovering a levy from a firm in an industry which did not have an industrial training board. I do not know whether the noble Viscount can throw any light on that for us.


The noble Viscount is quite correct. There would be no power to collect a levy from another industry. Of course, at this moment the engineering industry is training large numbers of maintenance people in every conceivable industry in the country. There is this wastage of trained engineers—though they are not, of course, wasted if they are doing a vital job in the industry to which they are going. But under the provisions of this Bill the Government will be giving a subvention; which will assist an industry in training people who are going to be used outside the industry. To that extent this Bill would improve the situation of those who at the moment are bearing the cost of training engineers.

Clause 4 agreed to.

Clauses 5 and 6 agreed to.

Clause 7 [Proposals for exercise of board's functions and for levies]:

4.35 p.m.

LORD CHAMPION moved, in subsection (2) after "order" to insert: by statutory instrument, which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament".

The noble Lord said: This Amendment, like my first one, is little more than drafting, though it is also to some extent probing. Subsection (2) of Clause 7 makes provision for an order declaring a board to be in default, but I am not at all sure what sort of order this is going to be. I presume that the order will be covered by some sort of statutory instrument, but the Bill as drafted does not seem to me to make this at all clear. I hope that the noble Viscount, Lord Blakenham, will tell us what sort of order this will be, and whether in fact it will come before both Houses to go through the normal statutory instrument procedure. I think that the making of such an order and declaring an industrial training board to be in default is going to be a very serious matter, and it would seem to me to be of such a serious nature as to justify Parliament being informed of it by the procedure that I have mentioned in my Amendment.

There is just one other question that I should like to put in connection with this default procedure. Ought not the Minister, before making such an order, to consult the Central Training Council? I believe that this Central Training Council will have to be made an important body. It will have to be made to feel that it is of real importance in connection with this whole scheme. I should have thought that, in a question of default, the Minister ought to consult the Central Training Council before proceeding to make an order. But my main point in putting down this Amendment is to find out what sort of procedure will be followed in the making of the order. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 7, line 10, after ("order") insert the said words.—(Lord Champion.)


In answering the two questions which the noble Lord has put to me, I should like to give the background to this matter. I think we all hope that the Minister will never feel forced to take the very drastic and extreme course of declaring a board to be in default. It is difficult to visualise a situation in which a board would persistently and deliberately refuse to produce proposals which are acceptable, but we thought it right to provide that in the very unlikely case of there being a disagreement between the Minister and the board the Minister should have this sanction available to him.

The noble Lord has expressed anxiety that Parliament should have the right to approve such a step. Although I realise that this is a probing Amendment, I should like to give the reasons why I do not think this would be advisable. The Bill requires the Minister, and the Minister alone, to judge whether or not the proposals are acceptable. It also requires him, if he considers the board's proposals to be unsatisfactory, to explain why he thinks so, and he must give his explanation in writing. This means that the board knows exactly in what respects it must improve on its proposals. It also means that the board is safeguarded against any arbitrary or unreasonable decisions by the Minister. When the Minister explains why the proposals are unsatisfactory he also directs the board to submit fresh proposals. It is when the board fails to do this, or fails to submit improved proposals, that it becomes liable to be declared in default. The order declaring a board to be in default is the result, in fact, of the board's failure to comply with a clear direction. I think your Lordships will therefore agree that, if Parliament is to exercise a power of approval in circumstances of this kind, the time when the default order is made is not the appropriate stage: it is too late. If Parliament wished to control the Minister's action, it would be right to do so at the point of time when the Minister issued his direction to the board. So I do not think it would be either practicable or desirable to do what is suggested by this Amendment.

On the other hand, the second question that the noble Lord put to me is, I think, a very pertinent one. I should like to say that my right honourable friend certainly envisages that the Central Training Council will be consulted by the Minister in circumstances such as the noble Lord had in mind. So I can give him a negative answer to his first question and a positive to his second.


I am very glad to hear the Minister say that about the Central Training Council. I am one of those who are very anxious to see that the Central Training Council play a very big part in the whole of this scheme, and I think one of their duties will be to plan out standard methods of training which will apply, probably, to a great number of industries, and thus help to get a steady level of training throughout the country. It seems to me that they should be able to give advice to the Minister in a better way than possibly anybody else on whether one training board is in default, and I am delighted to hear that they are going to be brought into this matter.


I am most grateful to the noble Lord for saying so.


I, too, am grateful to the noble Lord for supporting the point that I was making, that the Central Training Council ought to be extremely important, and I am sure that we are grateful to the noble Viscount for the reply which he gave. I accept the point that he made about the actual mechanics of the order, and in the circumstances I ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD LINDGREN moved to add to subsection (3): The period between the vacating by members of their office under the order and the appointment of new members shall not exceed six months".

The noble Lord said: Following on the previous discussion, we all agree in hoping that the Minister will never have to use the powers he has when a board is in default, but I think he is quite right, as a precaution, to take power in the Bill to deal with the possibility of such action being necessary. By subsection (3) he takes the right, where a board has been dismissed, to appoint an individual to carry on the function pending the appointment of fresh members of the board, and the purpose of this Amendment is simply to put a time limit on the period during which he can make such appointments. I think one can assume that the Minister would get fresh members for the board as quickly as possible, but there is a very delicate situation when one board has been disposed of for not carrying out its duties correctly, and sometimes it is a little difficult to get new members. There is loyalty in industry, even if that loyalty is sometimes misplaced.

I therefore appreciate that the Minister must have some time in which to do it, and equally that there must be some person who would be prepared to carry on the job in the meantime; but that can be extended over too long a period, and we suggest in this Amendment that it should be limited to six months. I know that six months may be too short—it may be that it should be a little longer—but we move the Amendment in order to get from the noble Viscount the intentions behind the Bill as to the period likely to be necessary in the event of this unfortunate situation arising. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 7, line 16, at end insert the said words.—(Lord Lindgren.)


May I say, first, that I agree with what the noble Lord said: that we hope that these circumstances will not arise. I believe that we all made that clear on the previous Amendment. On this Amendment, I am not at all unsympathetic to what the noble Lord has in mind. As I understand it, the Amendment we are considering relates to the length of time of what I might call the caretaker period, between the "old gang" going out and the new members being appointed. I would agree with what I think the noble Lord has in mind: that there should be as short a period as possible between these two stages.

I should like to look at this point. Whether six month s is the exact time, I am not so sure; but I think we ought to have a look at this. What I would suggest to the noble Lord who has moved this Amendment is this. I will certainly convey to my right honourable friend that I looked at this suggestion very sympathetically in our Committee, and that I hope he will. This information will certainly be made available to my right honourable friend; and I hope the noble Lord will be satisfied that, although this Amendment is probably not necessarily the answer in detail, the principle which actuated him in moving it is one with which I sympathise as I am sure my right honourable friend will.


I am grateful to the noble Viscount for his sympathetic reception of this Amendment, and in view of that I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 7 agreed to.

Clauses 8 to 10 agreed to.

Clause 11:

Central Training Council

11.—(1) The Minister shall appoint a council, to be known as the Central Training Council, which shall have the duty of advising him on the exercise of his functions under this Act and on any other matter relating to industrial or commercial training which he may refer to it.

(2) The Central Training Council shall consist of a chairman and— (a) six members appointed after consultation with any organisation or association of organisations representative of employers; (e) twelve other members, of whom six shall be appointed after consultation with the Secretary of State and the Minister of Education.

4.46 p.m.

LORD WILLIAMSON moved to add to subsection (1): "or which the Council may wish to consider". The noble Lord said: The purpose of this Amendment is to widen the scope of the Central Training Council in an advisory capacity. Of course, this is important. This has been stressed by the noble Viscount, who said on Second Reading that the Central Training Council would be advising, and that there is no wish to disturb them. In that debate a number of noble Lords called attention to the very narrow way in which the functions and duties of the Central Training Council were circumscribed. The noble Viscount, Lord Amory, said that what the Central Training Council were to do was all a little vague at present, and he suggested that, as sometimes has happened with other legislation, this Council may become a body without much power and without much influence. He went on to say [OFFICIAL REPORT, Vol 255 (No. 33) col. 287]: I believe there is an important job of inspiration and co-ordination to be done … if the momentum and impetus is to be maintained".

Then my noble friend Lord Champion took two columns of Hansard for his references to the functions of the Central Training Council, and he mentioned a large number of matters which, with advantage, could be considered by the Central Training Council. The noble Lord, Lord McCorquodale of Newton, has just referred to something else which the Training Council might well do: that is, to deal with the level of the levy, which may tend to vary under these various training boards. The policy of exemptions from the levy which we have been discussing this afternoon might also be the responsibility of this Council. During the Second Reading debate, when the noble Viscount replied to the points which had been made on this, he said (col. 344): that the Central Council will, in fact, perform a very valuable co-ordinating rôle …". But he went on to qualify that to such an extent that it made his previous statement about co-ordination quite meaningless, although he did say that the Central Training Council would be made effective, and that its functions would be wide. This, in fact, is all that this very simple Amendment is trying to do.

In my view, unless the Central Training Council is given some greater autonomy than that given within the restrictions in the clause as it stands, then it is possible that it will drift into an atmosphere of frustration and ineffectiveness. It is quite hypothetical to consider at this stage what might arise out of all these schemes of the training boards. But it would be a good thing if the Minister would agree that the functions and duties of the Central Training Council should be widened from the restriction present in this Clause of the Bill. Therefore, I hope that the noble Viscount will give us some hope that this Amendment, or something like it, can be put into the Bill.

Amendment moved— Page 9, line 32 at end insert ("or which the Council may wish to consider").—(Lord Williamson.)


I am in a quandary about the Amendment that the noble Lord, Lord Williamson, moved and I should like him to give a little more time to tell the Committee exactly what he would like the boards to do, because it seems to me that their duties are pretty well laid down in the Explana tory Memorandum of the Bill, and in Clause 2. I do not think anybody would quarrel with what is there set out. As to whether the time would come when the boards' duties would increase—and that is really the case which my noble friend is putting forward—I should be much happier in supporting this Amendment if he could give some indication of the other matters which he thinks would be germane to the Industrial Training Bill. We must be careful about legislating anything in so wide a range because anything can then be covered and, to all intents and purposes, would have the strength of the law behind it. One thing about the Bill is that, so far as Clause 2 is concerned, the duties are pretty well laid down. If they are extended further, you can then come up against all sorts of organisations of employers and employees who would want those other matters considered. I think I have an idea of what my noble friend has in mind; but I should be much happier if he could state it specifically.


I shall be happy to do so. First of all, the noble Lord is talking about something quite different from the Amendment and from the clause with which we are dealing. So far as I can understand, he has been talking about industrial training boards. The Amendment has nothing to do with them. My Amendment applies to the Central Training Council. I leave it at that.


I should have thought—although I am sure we all appreciate and agree with the spirit of this Amendment—that what the noble Lord wants is in fact already covered. The Bill says that the Central Council "shall have the duty of advising" the Minister on certain things. It does not say it shall not discuss other things; it can discuss anything it likes. There is no prohibition. All the clause says is that the Council "shall discuss"—this is mandatory—certain things the Minister wants it to discuss.


Will the noble Lord give way, to save time? If the noble Viscount opposite will say what the noble Lord has just said, I will withdraw the Amendment at once.


I am endeavouring to suggest to him what I hope he might say; I did not want to put it so baldly. Subsection (3) of this clause says that the Central Training Council "shall … make a report of its activities to the Minister". Therefore if it has been discussing something other than on the Minister's order, it can report on that matter. In other words, the Council has all the powers it wants, although they are not written into the Bill.


First of all, I would comment on what the noble Lord, Lord Williamson, has said. I hope that nothing I said in the Second Reading debate, or at any other time, qualifies what I believe to be the truth: that this Central Training Council has extremely important functions to fulfil. I think I can satisfy the noble Lord without getting him into trouble with his noble friend Lord Hobson, because I think I can carry out the suggestion put to me by the noble Lord, Lord McCorquodale of Newton. I believe that what the noble Lord has in mind is, in fact, already covered by intention in the Bill itself. The Council will have a duty to advise the Minister on the exercise of its functions under the Act. This will require the Council to consider a wide range of training questions. It is very unlikely that there would be any industrial training question under the terms of this clause which the Council would be prevented from considering. It is even more doubtful whether the Minister would attempt to rule out of order discussion by the Council of anything it wanted to discuss within the terms of Clause 11. The Council will, in practice, be able to discuss anything it chooses; and I think this is what the noble Lord wanted me to say.


I thank the noble Viscount. Had he said this in the Second Reading debate, the Amendment would not have appeared on the Order Paper. I beg leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

4.57 p.m.

LORD MILVERTON moved, in subsection (2), to add to paragraph (a): including any organisation representative of local authorities as employers.

The noble Lord said: I rise to propose Amendment No. 8 on the Order Paper. This refers to a point which was made in passing by the noble Viscount, Lord Amory, in the Second Reading debate and it is also a point which I elaborated later on, and I hope the Minister has given it his consideration. Local authorities are concerned with the provision of industrial training in their capacity as employers of skilled workers in a wide range of industries which may become subject to industrial training orders. Building, civil engineering and electrical contracting are only a few of the industries with which local authorities are connected. The local authorities' employing interest in building alone is 150,000; which is probably greater than that of any single employer.

It is the policy of local authorities to work closely with the industries concerned. For example, the local authorities' building craft apprenticeships are indentured under the building industry arrangements. It is, therefore, I suggest, highly desirable that local authorities should be represented as employers and not only as local education authorities on the Central Training Council for which Clause 11 provides. Local authorities' representatives on the Council would seek to ensure that persons in local authority employment would not be at any disadvantage as respects industrial training as compared with workers in private employment or in nationalised industries; and also, in common with other employers, that the demands made on them were not unreasonable; and, generally, that they would be in a position to make a valuable contribution to the work of the Council.

It will be noticed that subsection (2)(a) makes provision for consultations with employers' organisations regarding the appointment of six members of the Council. But no specific reference is made to consultations with the local authorities' organisations as representative of employers. The Amendment is designed to ensure that such consultations shall take place. The Amendment is necessary because, although prima facie it may be suggested that the local authority associations come within the provision of paragraph (a), experience of the Ministry of Labour's practice when consulting representative employer bodies suggests that the associations are not likely to be consulted regarding the appointment of members under paragraph (a).

The alternative, of course, is represented by the next Amendment on the Marshalled List in the names of the noble Lords, Lord Champion and Lord Lindgren, to provide expressly, in a separate paragraph, as in the case of the nationalised industries under paragraph (c), that there should be additional representatives on the Council representing the local authorities as employers. But it is apprehended, rightly or wrongly, that the Government are properly anxious to keep the membership of the Central Training Council within reasonable bounds.

Local authorities as employers have at least as good a claim to representation on the Council as have, say, the nationalised industries. The total of local government employees is approaching 1½ million, excluding teachers, which is in excess of any one nationalised industry taken separately and is comparable with the nationalised industries taken together. The figures which I gave in the Second Reading debate are: gas, 126,000; electricity, 237,000; coal, 607,000; and railways 530,000, making a total of 1½ million, which is the same as the total I quoted for the local authorities. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 9, line 44, at end insert the said paragraph.—(Lord Milverton.)


Like my noble friend Lord Milverton, I feel that this is a very valuable Amendment. There is no doubt that the local authorities are among the largest employers in the country, and, as such, I feel that they should be represented. They employ skilled labourers and technicians of all types, and all these require training. I cannot see any reason why the local authorities should not be consulted as employers, and, as my noble friend pointed out, they include the educational side, which would involve the training of teachers. I feel that they should have a voice on the Council and that this Amendment can hardly be opposed.


If the noble Lords, Lord Milverton and Lord Somers, and the Minister do not object, I think that the next Amendment might be considered at the same time, in order that we may avoid tedious repetition.


I should very much like to support that.


The noble Lords who have moved Amendment No. 8 believe that what they want should be done in the way they have suggested. My colleagues and I think a better way is to include it as a separate paragraph after the nationalised industries. As has been said, the local authorities have a wide range of activities, including civil engineering, electrical work and engineering. So far as the professional, technical and clerical staffs of local authorities are concerned, their training has been carried out by schemes promoted by their professional organisations, and they have done the job exceedingly well. No only have they facilitated schemes of training, they have also created standards, and the local authorities have co-operated in providing opportunities for their staffs to take advantage of these schemes. It is on the manual side, in particular, that we want to include local authorities somewhere in the Bill, but the way in which it is to be done we would leave to the Minister, who would be able to say in which way it would be most effective.


I hope it is convenient to the noble Lords, Lord Milverton and Lord Somers, that we should deal with these two Amendments together. The object of both these Amendments is to provide that the local authorities shall be represented on the Central Training Council in their capacity as employers. It was pointed out by the noble Lord, Lord Milverton, that local authorities employ about 1½ million people. He compared that figure with the similar number of employees in the nationalised industries and argued that if the nationalised industries are to be consulted before the appointment of two members of the Council, it is only reasonable that the local authorities should be treated in the same way. I think that that is the gist of the noble Lord's argument and that the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, would agree with it.

I do not think that this case is quite so strong as it has been made out to be. The Bill relates to the activities of industry and commerce, and this brings all the employees of the nationalised industries within its scope. But the main activity of local authorities is local government, and local government, as such, is not covered by the Bill. Employees of local authorities will come within the Bill's scope only if they are engaged in industrial or commercial activities. It is difficult to say exactly how many of their employees will fall within this category. The manual workers employed by local authorities amount, I am told, to about 400,000, but many of these would be outside the scope of the Bill and the number coming within its scope is not likely to be more than one-quarter of the figure quoted by the noble Lord, Lord Milverton, and, as industries go, this is not very large. There are bound to be employers' organisations covering a greater number of employees than this who will not be directly represented on the Council. My right honourable friend the Minister of Labour is anxious not to add to the numbers on the Council, which, I think noble Lords on both sides of the Committee would agree, must be kept within reasonable limits if it is going to be an effective body.

But there is a second and rather more fundamental objection to what is being proposed. For a long time—and the noble Lords, Lord Williamson and Lord McCorquodale of Newton, would particularly know of this—it has been the practice of all Governments, when seeking advice from industry on employment questions, to turn, on the workers' side, to the Trades Union Congress and, on the employers' side, to the British Employers' Confederation; and for a number of years the Ministry of Labour National Advisory Joint Council consisted of representatives of these two organisations. Then 1945 came and the years immediately afterwards, when noble Lords opposite and their Party proceeded to take certain industries into public ownership and thereby created a new situation, when the boards of these newly nationalised industries were not employers' organisations and could not be represented on the British Employers' Confederation. Yet it would be wrong (and I think it was rightly decided at the time) if the voice of these important industries could not be heard on the National Joint Advisory Council.

Therefore, a predecessor of mine, Mr. George Isaacs, produced an ingenious solution. The nationalised industries were given representation on the Council but, in recognition of their special position as being neither employers' organisations nor trade unions, their seats at Council meetings were on the cross benches. They were, therefore, enabled to make their contribution to the Council's discussions without identifying themselves as being on one side or the other. I think this arrangement has worked extremely happily, and I certainly found it so during the three years when I was Minister of Labour. When my right honourable friend the present Minister of Labour came to draft this Bill, he rather naturally followed the pattern that I have mentioned in providing for the industrial membership of the Central Training Council.

The local authorities are not in the same posiion as nationalised industries. Llke any other employers' organisations (and it is in their capacity as employers that noble Lords have been referring to them), they are eligible through one or other of their representative organisations to apply for affiliation to the British Employers' Confederation, and, like any other employers' organisation, it is up to them to decide whether or not they want to do so. I can see no reason, therefore, why in this particular case my right honourable friend should be asked to depart from what has long been the customary practice—and, I may say, the practice agreed on both sides—to make this special provision for one particular group of employers to be separately represented on the Central Training Council. I am sorry to have taken so long on this reply, but an important point of principle has been raised in these two Amendments, and I thought I would explain why I feel it is not possible to accept them.


I find the noble Viscount's reply quite unsatisfactory, but I should like to ask him one question. Am I to deduce from what he said, apart from any special representation on the Council, that under paragraph (a) the Government do not propose that local authorities should be consulted at all; or can he give me an assurance that they will be consulted, although they may not be specially represented?


I am sorry that the noble Lord feels that my explanation is unsatisfactory. I explained that associations of local authorities are employers' organisations in the usual sense of the word and are eligible to apply for affiliation to the British Employers' Confederation in the same way as any other employer body, and it is, therefore, open to my right honourable friend to be able to consult with them in this form as members of the British Employers' Confederation.

On Question, Amendment negatived.

LORD LINDGREN moved to add to subsection (2): and six after consultation with associations representing local education authorities".

The noble Lord said: This Amendment is totally different from the previous Amendment that we have dealt with, and perhaps No. 11 is associated with it, although noble Lords who have their names attached to that Amendment will no doubt indicate whether this is so or not. I have made it clear during the whole of the discussions on this Bill, perhaps because of my local government background, that I have a leaning or bias towards the provision of education through the local education authority. It is equally true that, in the discussion on the Second Reading, and in another place, Ministers in charge of the Bill have said that, so far as the intention of the Bill and the work of the Industrial Training Council is concerned, there shall be the closest possible association with education authorities and that, wherever possible, the facilities of local authorities should be used in regard to it. Those facilities of local authorities are already being used extensively by the best employers, particularly in the first years of apprenticeship schemes.

I think it would be to the advantage of the Central Training Council (whether this Amendment is the best way of doing it is a point for consideration) if local education authorities, through their associations, were directly represented on the Council, to give the benefit of their advice, knowledge and experience in regard to the facilities that are available, and to join in as partners right at the top of the scheme. After all, local education authorities have the buildings; they have the experience of organisation with employers, and they have, too, a teaching staff. I think that close co-operation with the local education authorities is essential. The Minister said on Second Reading that he agreed and he did not want a second bureaucratic machine to be built up. In view of this, I think it would be of advantage to the scheme if the local education authorities were represented on the Central Training Council. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 10, line 3, at end insert the said words.—(Lord Lindgren.)


The noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, was quite straightforward and honest by stating at the beginning of his remarks that he had a definite leaning or bias towards the local education authorities. Well, good luck to him! But I think your Lordships will be quick to recognise that this Amendment does two things. First, it makes the educational representation on the Central Training Council twice as strong as that of the employers and the trade unions. This is because the Bill, as the noble Lord no doubt realises, already provides for the appointment of six educational members, who undoubtedly will be people from local education authorities. The Amendment would add a further six who would be from local education authorities.

While I am anxious to see education playing an important part under the new arrangements, I do not think that many of your Lordships would agree that doubling the educational representation (I hope that I see the noble Lord, Lord Williamson, nodding on this) in relation to employers and trade unions is the right way to achieve this. I think it would, in fact, give a disproportionate weight to educational interests; and I think it would be resented, and rightly so, by those who are, after all, most affected by the legislation—namely, the employers, who have to meet the cost of the training, and the employees who are going to be directly affected by the Council's decision.

The second point is, I think, of equal significance. This Amendment would deprive the Minister of the right to appoint six independent members. I am sure your Lordships would agree that these members could make an important contribution to the Council. They could well include people from universities and professional institutions, people with research or training consultancy experience, and others who would be unlikely otherwise to secure a place on the Council in any way. These, I think, are two strong arguments, and in view of them, I hope the noble Lord will withdraw the Amendment.


I must admit that when putting down the Amendment I had completely misread the clause and did not appreciate that the other six would be educationists. That being so, I admit the error, and beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD MILVERTON moved, in subsection (2)(e), to leave out "six" and insert "nine". The noble Lord said: I should like to give the reasons why I think this is a good Amendment. The position, I take it, is that the six educational members contemplated by paragraph (e), as it stands, cannot adequately represent the educational interests, particularly if, among the educational representatives, there is to be, as we hope, a representative of the Youth Employment Service who has had practical experience of the work of that Service. The Bill is likely to result in a substantial increase in the integrated courses of education and training for first-year apprentices which have developed in recent years. As a result of the Bill, there is likely to be a stimulus to the development of these courses, because it will be possible for the industrial training boards to pay grants to firms in respect of the cost of sending their apprentices to courses at technical colleges involving industrial training. It is most important that sufficient educational representatives should be on the Council to ensure that industrial training courses abide by the spirit of Clause 2(1)(c), which refers to the need to associate further education with training.

It is highly desirable that whenever practicable the education of young people should be continued on a part-time basis after leaving school, and the opportunity should be taken in the industrial training arrangements to ensure this. The need for the Youth Employment Service to be represented derives from the link which that Service establishes between education and the industrial and commercial world, and the suggestion that someone with practical experience of that work should be included is in line with the Government's own proposals elsewhere in the newly published Public Libraries and Museums Bill, in which we see that the National Advisory Council on library and museum matters should include persons who have had experience of the administration of the service provided by library authorities. I hope that principle will also be adopted by the Government in this Bill. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 10, line 1, leave out ("six") and insert ("nine").—(Lord Milverton.)


This Bill is for the purpose of training, and training, after all, is only another word for teaching. Anybody who has had any experience in the teaching world, as I have, knows that a profound knowledge of the subject is not enough. Teaching is a very special talent. You must have the knowledge of how to get it over to your pupil. As this Amendment will not actually increase the number of those members, but will merely increase the proportion of the teaching members or educational members I should have thought it was most desirable. This is, after all, only another form of further education, and we have all agreed that that is a desirable thing. Personally, I cannot see any reason why there should be any objection to doing it.


I have put forward on the previous Amendment the arguments which I should be putting forward on this Amendment, because although there is a difference in degree, both these Amendments have the same objective in mind. This last Amendment does not gobble up the independents quite as much as the Amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren. Of course, I agree with what the noble Lord, Lord Somers, has said about the importance of educational representation, and this is what we have allowed for in the six members who are directly connected with education and who will be on the Central Training Council.

I am anxious to see that the independents should be able to make the really important contribution that I should have thought both my noble friends, Lord Milverton and Lord Somers, would appreciate that they could. I should have thought it was very important to have people from these places and from the universities. It is also important to have people from professional institutions. It is important to have people who have knowledge of research or training and consulting experience. There are others who are unlikely to secure a place on the Council in any other way except through these independent vacancies. I am thinking of representatives of bodies like the City and Guilds. Therefore, the effect of gobbling up these independent vacancies, which this Amendment would do, I think would be against the interests of education in its broadest sense. I do not like having to say "No" twice running to two of my noble friends, but I hope they will forgive me for having to do so.

On Question, Amendment negatived.

Clause 11 agreed to.

Clauses 12 and 13 agreed to.

Clause 14 [Disqualification for membership of House of Commons]:

5.27 p.m.

VISCOUNT BLAKENHAM moved to add at end of the clause: or paid deputy chairman of such a board".

The noble Viscount said: I wonder whether it would be convenient to your Lordships if I took Amendments Nos. 12 and 13 together, because No. 12 is consequential on No. 13. I think your Lordships will agree that the success of the boards will depend to a considerable degree on the leadership, drive and personality of the chairman. I think this is undoubtedly the fact. The chairman of a board will have to give the board its whole sense of direction, and he will have to create a team out of the members of that board, who will, of course, have many varying interests, which we have discussed in the previous Amendments. The chairman will also have a considerable task in putting over to the industry as a whole—industries like engineering—the policies of the board. Therefore, it is obvious that we want to be able to appoint people of the highest possible quality as chairmen. Such people are scarce, and their time is precious.

It seems to my right honourable friend that some potential chairmen may be able to accept appointment only if some of their duties can be shared with a deputy. Therefore, he felt it would be a pity were a person of the right qualifications and ability to decline an appointment as chairman of the board simply because the Bill provided no means of appointing a deputy to help him bear the load. That is why I have introduced this Amendment to give the Minister power to appoint a deputy chairman when he considers it appropriate. This power will not necessarily ever be used, but I think it is a useful power for the Minister to have up his sleeve. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 12, line 31, at end insert ("or paid deputy chairman of such a board").—(Viscount Blakenham.)


We from this side of the House welcome most heartily the suggestion of the noble Viscount because we think it is an improvement to the Bill. We are not quite sure whether or not the deputy will be paid, or the chairman will be paid, or both. Perhaps we can have that made clear. We have no particular feelings on either side, but I raised the point in the Amendment I moved. I am not sure whether it was an alternative or whether both would be paid.


The answer to the noble Lord is that both could be paid.

Clause 14, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

Schedule [Industrial training boards]:


I beg to move the next Amendment formally.

Amendment moved— Page 14, line 16, at end insert ("and, if the Minister thinks fit to appoint as deputy chairman a person appearing to him to have industrial or commercial experience, the deputy chairman so appointed; and references in the following provisions of this Schedule to a chairman shall include a deputy chairman.")—(Viscount Blakenham.)

Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported with Amendments.