HC Deb 15 December 1950 vol 482 cc238-9W
114. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Labour if he is now in a position to make a statement on his negotiations with both sides of industry and in consultation with the British Electricity Authority, for the general resumption of work on Saturday mornings, so as to minimise the electricity cuts during the other five working days.

Mr. Isaacs

pursuant to his reply on 14th December [OFFICIAL REPORT,. c. 201]: In their review of the general position the Electricity Sub-Committee, in conjunction with the British Electricity Authority, have carefully considered the extent to which Saturday morning work would assist in spreading the peak hour load during the five normal working days.

The Sub-Committee have advised me that the present peak hour load on Saturday mornings is calculated to be 77 per cent. of the load on the normal working day as compared with 90 per cent. in 1946 before the five-day week became widespread. A resumption of work on Saturday morning would inevitably entail the risk of load shedding and it would, of course, only affect the peak hour problem if industry took a compensatory morning off during the normal working week. As the arrangements for Saturday morning working vary with each industry, any change involving Saturday morning would require to be considered industry by industry and organised in each particular area in such a way as to reduce the demand effectively on each of the five working days.

Whip the Sub-Committee do not wish to recommend against its adoption by such industrial establishments as may find it practicable, they believe that am extension of load spreading on the five normal working days would, in general, be a quicker and more effective contribution towards assisting in finding a solution to this problem.

Moreover, I would add that I would hesitate to suggest any measure that might make the working of Saturday mornings a matter related solely to this problem of spreading the electricity load. As I have already indicated to the House, the requirements of the Rearmament programme may make it incumbent on the industries affected to consider all possible measures for securing additional output.