§ 2.35 p.m.
§ THE EARL or KINNOULL
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the first Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what further progress has now been made towards the settlement of the B.0.A.C. pilots dispute; and whether the Woods Report and recommendations arising out of the Prices and Incomes Board Report No. 88 have now been implemented.]
§ THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (LORD SHACKLETON)
My Lords, negotiations on a new pay structure for pilots are continuing between B.O.A.C. and the British Airline Pilots' Association under the independent chairmanship of Professor Wood. These negotiations are the direct consequence of the agreement reached under Professor Wood's chairmanship in August last year. I understand that Professor Wood and the parties have the conclusions of Report No. 88 of the National Board for Prices and Incomes well in mind.
§ THE EARL OF KINNOULL
My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for that reply. Bearing in mind the background of this unhappy dispute and both the findings of the Pearson Report and the Prices and Incomes Board Report, would not the noble Lord agree that it is now time for Her Majesty Government to advise both parties to refer the matter to the Prices and Income Board to settle the valuation of the pay structure? With B.O.A.C.'s own deadline of March 31 for a settlement in mind, are the Government aware of any sign that the four outstanding issues are likely to be settled by that date?
§ LORD SHACKLETON
My Lords, I always think it is very difficult to discuss on the Floor of the House industrial negotiations while they are going on. We have noted what the noble Earl has said. We certainly hope that there will be a satisfactory outcome. I would not minimise the fact that there are difficult areas to cover. But I think it would be quite wrong to suggest that the negotiations should be taken away from their present forum. I think we must hope for a satisfactory solution.