§ 23. Mr. Gammans
asked the Minister of Labour how many industries are without joint industrial councils or conciliation machinery; and what steps he proposes to take to introduce such machinery so as to reduce the risk of unofficial strikes.
§ Mr. Isaacs
I assume that what the hon. Member has in mind is either joint voluntary negotiating machinery established by agreement between the two sides, or statutory wage regulating machinery. On this basis, according to the records of my Department, some 15½ million workers are covered out of approximately 17½ million workers engaged in industry and services. I cannot, however, say as regards the remaining two million that no machinery of any sort exists. It has been the practice of my Department over many years to encourage and assist any industry with adequate organisation on both sides to establish joint negotiating machinery. That policy will be continued. Also, where necessary and appropriate, I shall continue the policy of setting up Wages Councils.