§ 12. Mr. G. Campbell
asked the Minister of Labour what action he is taking to offset the effects of redundancy in the motor car industry in Scotland.
§ Mrs. Shirley Williams
Our local officers are doing all they can to help those still unemployed to find other work and to provide re-training where appropriate.
§ Mr. Campbell
Will the hon. Lady treat this as a special problem, as it takes longer in Scotland than elsewhere for a situation of this kind to be rectified?
§ Mrs. Williams
Yes, Sir, and I think we have already done so. On 5th December, out of 718 workers who were formerly employed by B.M.C. and who were made redundant by that company, only 220 now remain unemployed. Further, out of 761 formerly employed by Rootes only 246 are still unemployed. This, after only six weeks, is not too bad a record.
§ Mr. Dalyell
Can my hon. Friend give a progress report on the excellent off-the-job adult retraining schemes that she has introduced?
§ Mrs. Williams
My hon. Friend is expecting details perhaps a little quickly. I can assure him, however, that we shall do our best to keep him informed.
§ 46 and 47. Mr. Moonman
asked the Minister of Labour (1) if he will make a periodic report on the trouble shooting committee set up in the motor car industry as to its work, scale and scope of inquiry:
(2) if he will extend the work of the trouble shooting committees to other industries.
§ Mr. Gunter
On 6th May in answer to a Question from the hon. Member for Newport (Mr. Roy Hughes), I told the House of Mr. Scamp's report on the work of the Motor Industry Joint Labour Council. I hope to make a further report to the House on the Council's work shortly. The constitution and terms of reference of the Council take account of the special circumstances of the motor industry and any extension of arrangements of this kind to other industries would have to be most carefully considered. The Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers' Associations has received evidence about the Motor Industry Joint Labour Council and I think it is sensible to await its Report before reaching any decision on these possibilities.—[Vol. 727, c. 167–8.]
§ Mr. Moonman
While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I also ask him whether he does not agree that reports of this nature should also be qualitative and not simply matters of figures? Would he not also agree that it would be extremely helpful to other industries associated with industrial disputes to have information of this sort? Finally, has he had any representations from trade unions and employers in other industries about setting up similar trouble shooting committees?
§ Mr. Gunter
There has certainly been considerable interest in the experiment that we have adopted in the motor car industry. However, as to the general view, I think that most of the other industries would not necessarily choose this method of seeking a solution. I have had no representations from other industries in the sense of my hon. Friend's question.