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Oral Answers to Questions — National Economic Development Council

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th January 1974.

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Photo of Mr Hugh Dykes Mr Hugh Dykes , Harrow East 12:00 am, 29th January 1974

asked the Prime Minister what plans he has to take the chair at any forthcoming meeting of the National Economic Development Council.

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) on 17th January.—[Vol. 867, c. 909.]

Photo of Mr Hugh Dykes Mr Hugh Dykes , Harrow East

If the miners refuse to accept the reasonable NCB offer, the three-day working week will have to continue for some time. Will my right hon. Friend, therefore, discuss with the Chancellor of the Exchequer the possibility of including on the agenda in forthcoming meetings the serious question of many industrial companies and small companies literally facing bankruptcy in the future unless there is a change?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

I am sure that the NEDC will wish to discuss, as it has done very frequently in the past, the industrial as well as the general economic situation. I discussed this matter with the CBI yesterday and with the TUC a week ago.

Photo of Mr Neil McBride Mr Neil McBride , Swansea East

Will the Prime Minister tell his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment that regardless of phase 3 he is empowered to act within legislation to settle this dispute, or has he so circumscribed his powers that the Secretary of State for Employment is now as obsequious as is Mr. Robin Day?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

That is not the general view expressed in the Press today, but that is Mr. Day's affair. The Secretary of State for Employment carries out his full responsibilities in the context of the counter-inflation policy approved by Parliament.