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Management And Planning (Workers' Participation)

Volume 728: debated on Thursday 12 May 1966

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asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what steps he is taking in regard to the industrial and economic activities for which his Department is responsible, to encourage workers' participation in management and planning for greater productivity.

Trade unions already participate in the consideration of measures to increase productivity by their membership of the Economic Development Committees. I agree that there is also need for full consultation in these matters at factory level.

Is my hon. Friend still satisfied with that kind of answer? Is it not time that steps were taken to implement policies of industrial democracy rather than continue to talk about the desirability of having such policies?

I have considerable sympathy with my hon. Friend's point of view. I cannot pretend, however, that the trade unions have so far shown a very great interest in this subject.

On the subject of productivity—with particular reference to page 128 of the National Plan—what steps are being taken to get free access to London Docks?

The hon. Gentleman has mentioned the desirability of encouraging consultation at factory level. What steps are the Government taking to encourage it?

As the right hon. Gentleman may know, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister proposes to call a conference on the subject this year. But, again, this is another of those matters which might well be dealt with by he "little Neddies".