§ 17. Mr. BUCHANAN
asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the many instances of low wages which are now prevalent in the catering trade; and if he is prepared to conduct an inquiry into this trade with a view to inclusion under the Trade Boards Act?
§ The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland)
Since the publication last year of the Report upon conditions in the Light Refreshment and Dining Room (non-licensed) branch of the Catering Trade, no fresh facts have been brought to notice which would justify the institution of a new inquiry.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it was stated recently by the Chairman of the Licensed Victuallers' Defence Association, that 65 hours a week, exclusive of meal times, was considered quite proper in that trade? That has been stated in the last few months.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Would not the points referred to by the right hon. Gentleman be sufficient to justify him in proceeding forthwith to establish a trade board for this body of workpeople?
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Is it not the case that unless the right hon. Gentleman is prepared to carry out an inquiry of this kind, there is no possible chance of these people getting any advance in pay or reduction of hours; that the only alternative is to go out on strike, and that they can then be "pinched" under the Government's Bill, next week?
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Is it not a fact that the people in this trade make their money out of the public and not out of their wages?
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
In view of the changed circumstances will the right hon. Gentleman not reconsider his decision of twelve months ago?
§ 23. Mr. STEPHEN
asked the Minister of Labour the number of industries for which Trade Boards have been set up; and the number of men and women employés, respectively, in those industries?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Trade Boards have been set up in Great Britain and are in operation in 39 trades. No exact information is available as to the number of workpeople employed in these trades, but it is estimated that some 350,000 males and 922,600 females are so employed.
§ Mr. PALING
Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many Trade Boards have been set up since the present Government came into office?
§ 24. Mr. STEPHEN
asked the Minister of Labour the number of prosecutions in Glasgow and Scotland, respectively, which have taken place of employers who have failed to observe the Regulations with regard to Trade Boards?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Since 1920, six prosecutions under the Trade Boards Acts have been taken in Glasgow, and nine in other parts of Scotland.