§ Sir W. Teeling
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will make a statement about the work of the committee of inquiry into the pay and conditions of London busmen.
§ Mr. Godber
The Committee has presented an interim Report to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport 151W and myself. The Report is being published this afternoon. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House.
In this Report the Committee, having considered the nature of the work of drivers and conductors employed in the London Transport Board's Road Services, the conditions in which their work is done and the net advantages of other jobs, comes to the conclusion that the pay has not proved high enough recently to attract and retain bus crews and that London bus drivers and conductors now rank too low in the London wage structure. The Committee consider that interim increases ranging from 8s. 6d. to 15s. a week would be appropriate.
These proposals are now of course a matter for consideration by the London Transport Board and the Transport and General Workers' Union.
The Committee's Report has been sent to the parties and I understand that they are to hold an early joint meeting.
The Report draws attention to the special problems connected with the operation of bus services in the London area. It also makes it clear that the Committee regard the suggested increases as not inconsistent with the requirements of incomes policy because of the need to arrest the serious and persistent loss of London bus crews.
The Committee will now go on to complete its review. On behalf of my right hon. Friend and myself I would like to thank Professor Phelps Brown and his colleagues for having completed the first stage of their work so expeditiously.