Building and Civil Engineering Industry (Pay and Conditions)

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Building and Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1968.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Robert Elliott Mr Robert Elliott , Newcastle upon Tyne North 12:00 am, 3rd December 1968

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he is aware of the concern in the con- struction industry at the delay by the National Board for Prices and Incomes in producing their reports on the wage structures of the building and civil engineering industries; and what action he has taken to expedite the report.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what further representations he has received from both sides of the construction industry regarding the reference of the wage structures of the building and civil engineering industries to the National Board for Prices and Incomes; and what reply he has sent.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

The Reports have now been published, and as to the next steps I have nothing to add to the statements by myself on 6th November [Vol. 772, c. 895]; by my right hon. Friend the First Secretary on 15th November [Vol. 773, c. 761]; by the Under-Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity on 28th November [Vol. 774, c. 185.]

Photo of Mr Robert Elliott Mr Robert Elliott , Newcastle upon Tyne North

Is the Minister not aware of the annoyance caused in that the Government wasted six months before making the reference?

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

Oh, yes. I know of the concern in the industry, and I am aware that it is disturbed about the delay. The Report is now to hand. I am sure that it has been read, and there are discussions going on between both sides of the industry and the Government on this very important matter.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

Is the Minister aware that the Government have created this situation by the delay of a year? Will he now give an assurance that they will not make the situation worse by any further intervention?

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that there will be no delay in making certain decisions known. My right hon. Friend, the First Secretary, will no doubt make a statement to the House at the appropriate time.

Photo of Mr Robin Chichester-Clark Mr Robin Chichester-Clark , County Londonderry

Apart from the Government's utterly represensible delays in the matter which have caused much of the trouble, may I ask whether it is true that the Prices and Incomes Board's computer broke down in the white heat of the technological revolution?

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

I have no idea what happened to the P.I.B. machinery. All I know is that the ultimate result is before both sides of industry and there are important discussions going on and we shall hear the results of these as soon as possible.