Industrial Disputes (Cost)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th July 1968.

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Photo of Mr Eric Moonman Mr Eric Moonman , Billericay 12:00 am, 25th July 1968

asked the Prime Minister if he will take action to coordinate the collection and analysis of information from the appropriate Ministries of the national and particular industrial costs of disputes as well as a study of the costs arising from lost exports.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

My hon. Friend will know the difficulties of attributing the costs of individual disputes, but in each case the best possible estimate is made.

Photo of Mr Eric Moonman Mr Eric Moonman , Billericay

As the estimates of the cost of industrial disputes last year range from about £10 million to £35 million, does not my right hon. Friend agree that there might be some merit in more clearly defined criteria so that both management and trade unions could see the more practical sense, importance and value of good industrial relations?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend's approach, though he will be aware of the great difficulties of getting any really accurate measure. I do not think that anyone on either side, for example, in the docks strikes last year was in any sense unaware of the very grave damage that was brought about by those dock strikes, damage perhaps going far beyond what could have been calculated on a purely statistical estimation.