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Clause 2. — References of Questions to the Board

Part of Orders of the Day — Prices and Incomes Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th August 1966.

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Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington 12:00 am, 9th August 1966

I support the Amendment but, as I indicated in an intervention while the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) was speaking, I do not believe that its wording is wide enough because it allows one to deal only with certain types of restrictive practices. I do not believe that it would permit the Prices and Incomes Board to consider the matter raised by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire; whether one should employ a solicitor or barrister in a particular legal dispute. I should prefer the wording of the Amendment to be wider, so that the matters which the hon. Gentleman raised could be considered as part of the general reference on restrictive practices to the Prices and Incomes Board. The phrase "restrictive practices" does not appear in the Amendment. It speaks only of the number of persons being … restricted or affected so as to conflict with the objectives set out in paragraph 1 of Schedule 2 to this Act This is odd wording. I am sure that what the right hon. Gentleman means is the case of the number of employees in a particular process exceeding a certain level.

I should like to see the Board consider the question of the number of people employed in the bus services, and whether it is necessary in all cases that so many people should be employed as conductors in some urban areas. If this question could be referred to the Board and a satisfactory solution obtained, it might do something to relieve my constituents of the ever-increasing burden of bus fares which we are forced to accept.

I do not believe that the Prices and Incomes freeze or any other Measure of the Government will benefit my constituents in that respect. What is needed is a fundamental review of the workings of the London Transport Board, such as this Amendment or some other device might bring about. For the reasons which I have given, I think that the Amendment, limited though it is in scope, should be accepted.