HC Deb 06 January 1916 vol 77 cc1094-6
43. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Minister of Munitions whether he is aware that an inquiry by the Central Control Board (Liquor Traffic) took place at Hull on 16th December with reference to scheduling the Humber district as a munitions area; whether he is aware that, so far from consulting the licensed trade, applications by their representatives to be heard at that inquiry, and subsequently to be present as listeners only, were refused; and whether he will explain why such action was taken by the Central Control Board (Liquor Traffic), in view of his undertaking that the Board would not make any Order affecting any new area without consulting interested parties in the locality, including the licensed trade?


Before the hon. Gentleman answers, may I ask if he is aware that the trade were invited to attend the inquiry, but declined to do so?


I am informed by the Central Control Board that full opportunity was offered to the licensed trade of Hull, Grimsby, and the neighbourhood, to meet the delegation of the Board which visited Hull, and to lay their views or suggestions before them. Three local representative associations were in communication with the delegation prior to the Hull conference. One of these was heard by the delegation, one did not ask for an interview, and the third replied to an invitation to be heard separately, by stating that what they desired was admission to the conference, a course not in accordance with the practice hitherto followed by the Board. If any other local bodies interested in the licensed trade desire to be consulted, the Board will be happy to arrange an interview for them, at which every opportunity will be given to them for stating their views.

Sir J. D. REES

Am I to understand that the hon. Gentleman admits that on this occasion representatives of the trade were excluded contrary to the engagement the Minister of Munitions gave to me?


I do not know to what occasion the hon. Gentleman refers. The facts are as stated in my reply. The hon. Member will notice that they have deliberately invited the representatives of the trade if they wished to state their views and that they should be given opportunity of doing so.


May I ask whether in any one of the cases the trade has been refused representation when they desired to go before the Board?


Not that I am aware of.

53. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Minister of Munitions whether he is aware that shortly before Christmas several hundred men on the night-shift and several hundred more on a mid-day Sunday shift were delayed from three-quarters to one hour at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield, in consequence of the Regulations issued by the Central Control Board (Liquor Traffic); whether he will state the total time lost on the two days in question; and whether this amounts to more than that lost from all causes, except sickness and accident, for four weeks before the imposition of the new Closing Order on the Metropolitan area?


I understand that it was found desirable on Saturday, 11th December, and Sunday, 12th December, to extend the dinner-hour of the men at Enfield to meet the new conditions created by the Regulations of the Central Control Board. The total number of hours so lost was 4,177. Arrangements are being made to deal with any difficulties in the future. The statement in the last part of the question is incorrect. Returns are available from some of the departments only, but in those departments alone the time lost from causes other than sickness and accident during the four weeks preceding the imposition of the Order exceeded 18,000 hours.