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Council on Wages, Prices and Productivity

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th November 1957.

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Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough 12:00 am, 19th November 1957

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will amend the terms of reference of Lord Cohen's Council on Wages, Prices and Productivity so as to allow the Council to inquire into and report on the extent to which industrial management has not introduced modern machinery and modern methods of operations as recommended in the Reports of the Productivity Council.

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

The Council's existing terms of reference, which include the review of changes in productivity, would be sufficiently wide for such inquiries, but it is for the Council to decide whether or not it wishes to pursue them.

Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough

Could the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Council is, in fact, making these inquiries, because, if it is not doing so, it will be in danger of producing a one-sided report as it is quite obvious that managerial inefficiency which keeps earnings low and prices high is one of the prime causes of inflation in the country?

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

No, Sir. I must make it quite plain that I can answer for the terms of reference which the Government laid down, but not for the Council.

Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough

In view of that fact, will not the right hon. Gentleman give instructions to the Council to cover every aspect?