HC Deb 24 July 1973 vol 860 c470W
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.]