I.L.O. Conventions (Ratification)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Labour – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West 12:00 am, 10th April 1967

asked the Minister of Labour when the British Government will ratify the outstanding International Labour Office conventions on racial discrimination in employment and on equal pay for men and women.

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

Convention No. 100 concerning equal remuneration for men and women workers and convention No. 1ll which deals with discrimination in respect of employment and occupation on a number of grounds besides race have not yet been ratified by the United Kingdom because in the matter of equal pay between men and women the present position in this country is not in complete conformity with their provisions. The Government fully accept the general principles of these Instruments and, as the House knows, discussions are taking place on equal pay with the Trades Union Congress and the Confederation of British Industry.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

As next year is Human Rights Year, would not my hon. Friend agree that it ought to see the ratification of these conventions?

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

It would be relatively simple for the Government to sign these conventions, because they ask that the Government should "work towards". It has always been the position of successive Governments, however, that we must be able to be in complete accord before signing the instruments involved.

Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth

Is it possible to have a list of all the things which are under discussion? Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that everything is discussion, discussion, discussion, and not action, action, action?

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

I readily agree, and in the 20 years which I have been here nobody has taken more part in those discussions than the hon. Lady.