May I thank the right hon. Lady for that mildly encouraging reply? Would she not agree, as the Commission is likely to be very much occupied with the problems of women in industry, especially equal pay, that the appointment of at least one woman member should be made as soon as possible? Would this not help to lend extra weight to whatever views the Commission puts forward?
I entirely agree that the C.I.R. should be equipped to deal with problems arising in industries or undertakings which employ large numbers of women. If a large number of cases arise involving problems concerning women employees, I shall certainly consider appointing a woman.
In addition to the chairman, three full-time and two part-time members have so far been appointed. It is too early to say what the eventual membership of the Commission will be. This will depend on the progress the Commission makes and the number of cases requiring reference to it.
Can my right hon. Friend say how long these appointments are for, what are the salaries in each position, and whether she is satisfied that the numbers appointed are sufficient to do the job which the C.I.R. will ask them to undertake?
May I ask my right hon. Friend which type of industrial problems the initial references to the Commission are likely to involve, and whether she considers that it would be advisable to put the C.I.R. on a statutory basis as soon as possible?
I am considering referring a case concerned with procedure arrangements in a group of companies in the engineering sector. I have also in mind references concerning trade union recognition, including one in the white-collar sector.
As regards the second part of the question, it is of course pointed out in the White Paper that we intend to put the C.I.R. on a statutory basis in the Industrial Relations Bill.