Mr. S. James A. Hill
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will seek powers to prescribe wage rates for seamen.
§ Mr. Onslow
On 11th April 1973. in answer to a Question by the Hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Hull, East (Mr. Prescott), I told the House that the Merchant Shipping Acts did not include power to prescribe wage rates. Since this answer was given, a detailed re-examination has been undertaken of the powers available in the Merchant Shippings Acts. Whilst there are no direct powers to prescribe wage rates the House would wish to know that I have been advised that the power given by Section 1 (3) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1970 to approve the provisions and form of a crew agreement could be used to impose in effect a minimum wage; but it is not the intention of the Government to use the power in this way.—[Vol. 854, c.293.]