Where agreements had been reached in the Whitley Councils but not implemented on or before 20th July, their implementation will be deferred in accordance with the White Paper on the Prices and Incomes Standstill. Where negotiations were still in progress, I will expect them to be conducted by the Whitley Councils in the light of the more stringent criteria foreshadowed in the White Paper.
Does the Minister recognise that these people would find it much easier to accept the necessity for this sacrifice if the Government would give up their obstinate adherence to the principle of universality, which is undermining so much financial confidence, lack of which is causing the problem at the present time?
The hon. Lady may be interested to know that when I met the chairmen of the staff sides of the Whitley Councils in order to tell them of the Government's policy, this point was not raised by any of those present, all of whom accepted the regrettable necessity for this policy.