Commission for Industry and Manpower [Money]

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th April 1970.

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Queen's Recommendation having been signified—

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to establish a Commission with functions similar to those hitherto performed by the Monopolies Commission and the National Board for Prices and Incomes and certain other functions it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of—

  1. (a) remuneration, allowances, and other payments to or in respect of members of that Commission;
  2. (b) expenses incurred by that Commission;
  3. (c) any sums payable under that Act by reason of any person's ceasing to be a member of the Monopolies Commission or of the National Board for Prices and Incomes; and
  4. (d) any expenses incurred by any Government department under that Act.—[Mr. Dell.]

10.9 p.m.

Photo of Sir Harmar Nicholls Sir Harmar Nicholls , Peterborough

The Money Resolution says that we are …to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of (a) remuneration, allowances, and other payments to or in respect of members of that Commission… We have had it made clear that a chairman will be appointed. We have had it made just as clear from the Opposition Front Bench that, after the next General Election, we shall have to disband this Commission.

I want a clear undertaking that there will be no quesion of using any of these moneys to enter into a contract for any period of years with the chairman when that contract might have to be broken, thereby involving a future Government in having to pay compensation from the taxpayers' money.

The words are quite clear. If we pass this Motion without an undertaking it could be, and from the words we heard during the debate it is likely that an appointment would be made under a contract, perhaps for years, which could only be ended by compensation which would not be fair. I would like that undertaking before the House is asked lo approve the Motion.

Photo of Mr Edmund Dell Mr Edmund Dell , Birkenhead

I can certainly not give the hon. Gentleman any such undertaking. The chairman will be appointed. Not to appoint a chairman would stultify the activity and operation of the Commission. A contract will be negotiated with the chairman when he is appointed. I certainly give the House no undertaking of the sort that I am asked for.

Question put and agreed to.