§ 39. Mr. T. SMITH
asked the Minister of Labour whether he has any further information to give the House regarding his discussions with employers of labour on the question of a reduction of working hours?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead)
No further meetings have taken place since those referred to in the reply given to the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) on 21st May. As a result, however, of my right hon. Friend's meeting with representatives of the distributive trade the organisations agreed to appoint representatives with whom the Department could consult for the further examination of the position with regard to wages, hours and working conditions in those trades, and communications have been received from other organisations who wish to be associated with these discussions. As pointed out in the previous reply, the principal effect of the discussions has been to cause closer attention to be given to the question relating to absorption of more workpeople into employment, but my right hon. Friend proposes to have a report prepared on the discussions for the information of those interested.
§ Sir P. HARRIS
Has the hon. and gallant Gentleman's attention been called to the reduction of hours in France, which will materially affect any negotiations with regard to industrial hours?
§ Lieut.-Colonel MUIRHEAD
My right hon. Friend wishes to present the report as soon as he reasonably can.