HC Deb 01 June 1921 vol 142 cc1038-40
27. Mr. SITCH

asked the Minister of Labour if he has recently received a communication from the Pressed and Stamped Metal Trade Board concerning the delay to give effect to his promise of the 23rd March last, that the numerous questions relative to the scope of its operations would be dealt with promptly; and whether he can see his way to expedite consideration of the matters submitted for his decision with the view to an early settlement of the same?


I have been in communication with the Trade Board since my answer to my hon. Friend's question on the 23rd March, and on the 25th May I wrote to the Board inviting it to send representatives to discuss with officers of my Department an amended draft definition of the trade, which will be before the Board at its next meeting on the 3rd June. My hon. Friend will, of course, realise that the points at issue are of great difficulty and complexity, and must necessarily involve consultation with representatives of important interests not covered by the Trade Board before a definite decision can be reached.

28. Mr. SITCH

asked the Minister of Labour the present position regarding the application submitted to him in April, 1920, by the Aerated Water Trade Board for an enlargement of its powers so as to cover the operations of persons engaged in bottle-washing, bottling, and filling, and all subsidiary processes preparatory to the sale of alcoholic beverages, when such operations are carried out apart from the manufacture of mineral waters; whether he has received several requests for his decision on the points raised; and will he say when it is proposed that such decision shall be announced?


Investigations have been made into the circumstances in which the bottling of beer, wines, and spirits, and other alcoholic beverages is carried on, and I am in communication with the trade associations concerned on the subject of the Trade Board's proposal. As my hon. Friend is doubtless aware, there are many different classes of trades engaged in the sale and distribution of alcoholic liquors who are not at present covered by the Trade Board, and who would be affected by the proposed amendment of the Aerated Waters Trade Order. My information is not yet complete, but, as a result of the investigations already made, I find that the proposal involves a considerable extension of the operation of the Trade Boards Acts.


Will the right hon. Gentleman make that extension?


I am considering that.

30. Major NEWTON

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has received a letter, dated 26th May, from the Incorporated Association of Retail Distributors requesting him to secure a reconsideration of the minimum rates of wages provisionally fixed by the Grocery and Provision Trade Board; and whether, in view of the fact that the rates recently forwarded for his confirmation were fixed when the cost of living was 48 points higher than it is now, and in view of the fact that the bringing into force these rates must inevitably lead to further dismissals of employés, thereby increasing the present evils of unemployment, he will order the reconsideration of these rates?


The rates in question have been submitted to me by the Board for confirmation. In coming to my decision I shall take into account all the relevant factors, including those mentioned by my hon. and gallant Friend.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consult with the employers, who have to pay whatever increased rate of wages may be fixed, before deciding?


The employers are represented on their side of the case, and any further representation made to me I shall be glad to consider.


Are any representations made by the customers?

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