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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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I accept three reasons above all others why we should be most concerned about the most economical utilisation of our labour force. The first is that, whatever the extent of the credit squeeze, skilled labour in particular will continue to be in short supply. Any analysis of population statistics suggests that our working population is likely to be such that future demand on it will be very great. Secondly, a widespread acceptance—which may not be shared by the hon. and learned Gentleman—that we must continue with tight controls on Commonwealth immigration will accentuate the tightness of the labour market, and we must accept the consequences. The selective employment premium is a third reason why we should constantly seek to examine how industry makes use of the labour. At the end of the day we must be in a far better position than now to comment on accusations that occasionally appear in newspapers like the Sunday Times, with Mr. Allen describing Britain as a part-time nation.