§ Mr. HASLAM
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is in negotiation with the various trade unions with the view 1948W of diminishing costs while increasing output and earnings by abolishing or amending regulations which have the effect of diminishing production?
§ Sir R. HORNE
I feel sure that the necessity for increased production at the present time will not be disputed in any quarter of the House, but the abolition or amendment of regulations which my hon. Friend has in mind can only be secured with success with the co-operation of employers and employed in the several industries, and I hope that every opportunity will be taken to discuss the question by joint bodies such as the Whitley Councils. Where I see a useful opportunity, the influence of the Ministry of Labour is used in the direction indicated, but the Department has no statutory powers in this connection, and, as at present advised, I am doubtful of the wisdom of seeking any such powers.