Productivity

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd July 1959.

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Photo of Sir Richard Pilkington Sir Richard Pilkington , Poole 12:00 am, 23rd July 1959

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to improve British productivity in view of the fact that the average American worker's output is more than twice that of his British counterpart.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

Industry itself is primarily responsible for improving our industrial productivity. The British Productivity Council is the national body concerned with productivity and its activities are supported by a grant-in-aid from the Board of Trade.

Photo of Sir Richard Pilkington Sir Richard Pilkington , Poole

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a very wide feeling, sincerely held, that the T.U.C. leaders should concern themselves very much more with this deplorable state of affairs and rather less with the intricacies of foreign affairs?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

My experience, for what it is worth, is that the T.U.C. is concerned with productivity.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the amount of electricity at the elbow of the American worker is very many times more than is available to the British worker?

Photo of Colonel Leonard Ropner Colonel Leonard Ropner , Barkston Ash

Does my right hon. Friend accept the statement made in the Question that the productivity of the average American worker is more than twice that of his British counterpart? If so, is the comparison in terms of cost, or something else?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

The comparison is not in terms of cost, but, of course, as my hon. and gallant Friend knows, it is the cost of producing an article which determines its market.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

Have not many trade union leaders played a full and energetic part in all the work of the Productivity Council for years past?