Orders of the Day — Judicial Offices (Salaries)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th May 1966.

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Mr. Mendleson:

As always, my hon. Friend is highly perceptive and brings in additional arguments, but on this occasion I would like to leave that argument to him.

There is one additional, very serious aspect of the matter on which my right hon. and learned Friend touched by implication. He told us that the 3½ per cent. applied strictly to these increases. Here there is a parallel case. It has been found convenient to arrange matters in such a way that the increase is spread over a period in a satisfactory fashion for these Recorders and other law officers involved. But what seems the hopeful line of solution in the conflict between the National Union of Seamen and their employers? It is on record that if the Government were now to put pressure upon the employers, who are partners with the National Union of Seamen in this dispute, to offer that the increase might be spread over two years instead of three years, with some slight improvement introduced in the immediate position, we might have a solution.

In this Order the spreading over of the increase has been most carefully considered. Knowing from past experience how these matters are handled for the judges, there is every certainty that there is agreement here on the part of the officers of the law concerned. In the last debate when the last increases for the judges were introduced by my right hon. and learned Friend, examples were given by my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) of how Her Majesty's judges acted on a previous occasion when they were asked to take part in a renunciation, a reduction, of 5 per cent. of their salaries during a major economic crisis. They threatened to go on strike and to take all sorts of action. They had deputations to the Law Officers.