asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the powers he possesses to appoint an independent inquiry where a party to an industrial dispute declines to either negotiate or to accept arbitration and refuses to take advantage of the facilities made available by the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service.
My right hon. Friend has powers under the Conciliation Act 1896 and the Industrial Courts Act 1919 to appoint inquiries into trade disputes or differences. An inquiry can also be set up under his general powers. These powers are exercisable entirely at his pendent Advisory, Conciliation and discretion and now that there is an inde Arbitration Service he would use them only as a last resort.