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Government Industrial Establishments

Volume 499: debated on Thursday 24 April 1952

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36.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the decision to grant a second week's annual paid holiday to workers in Government industrial establishments he is now able to reconsider the claims of the staff side for equal pay.

As the question of the grant of a second week's paid holiday to Government industrial employees is still being discussed with the trade union concerned, the second part of my hon. Friend's Question does not arise.

Can my hon. Friend say whether the approach for this week's holiday has come from Her Majesty's Government to the National Joint Industrial Council or from the National Joint Industrial Council, because Mr. Craig, speaking for them announced that the approach was made by the Government? I should like that point cleared up.

I do not think that in the case of negotiations it is very helpful to indicate from which direction certain proposals came. These are important and delicate negotiations, and I hope my hon. Friend will prefer to leave the matter there.

37.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now make a statement on his policy with regard to a second week's annual paid holiday to workers in Government industrial establishments.

I regret that I have nothing to add to the reply that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Portsmouth, West (Brigadier Clarke) on 8th April.

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that the women of the country are watching the progress of these negotiations with very great interest?

I can assure the hon. Lady that the general interest in these negotiations is fully appreciated.

Does my hon. Friend appreciate that the taxpayers of the country are watching this matter with very great anxiety?

Where in private industry a fortnight's holiday has now been granted, can the hon. Gentleman extend the fortnight's holiday, to start this year, to the same type of workers who are now in Government employ?

As the hon. Member, with his own experience of the Ministry of Labour, will realise, that is rather a difficult question to answer during the course of negotiations.