HC Deb 17 July 1929 vol 230 cc439-40
90. Mr. MILLS

asked the hon. Member for the Gorton Division, as Chairman of the Kitchen Committee, if he is aware that the waiters' staff of this House receive a wage of 31s. 6d. per week, out of which they have to provide clean linen and a dress suit, and undergo daily inspection parade before duty; and whether, considering the personnel of this House has so changed and in view of their limited means, ho will consider immediate revision of these wages?


In reply to the hon. Member, the Kitchen Committee are aware that the waiters employed in the Refreshment Department receive a wage of 31s. 6d. per week, they are also supplied with free meals, and are allowed to accept gratuities. We are informed that the wages compare very favourably with those paid by other establishments for similar services, and the Committee regret that under present conditions no immediate revision of these wages can be entertained. With regard to the daily inspection parade, we are afraid that the hon. Member has been misinformed.


May I ask whether the trade union representing these men has made any appeal to him to consider the question of a minimum wage?


If my hon. Friend and those associated with him in this matter will assist in re-establishing the grant which was formerly paid by the Treasury, we shall certainly observe trade union conditions.


My supplementary question was whether a representative of the trade union to which these men belong has made any complaint to the hon. Gentleman?


No, we have had no complaint from any trade union.


Apart from the grant, is this a defensible wage to pay to a man with a wife and family?


May I ask the hon. Member if he will consider paying these men a better wage in order that they may not be under the necessity of accepting gratuities?


If we could get an assurance that the majority of hon. Members will dine in the House, we shall be able to do better for these men.