HC Deb 15 April 1937 vol 322 cc1158-60
10. Mr. Lyons

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can now give the date of the first sitting of the committee established to consider the matter of annual paid holidays?

14. Mr. Rowson

asked the Minister of Labour whether the committee of inquiry into the question of holidays with pay has commenced sitting; and what bodies and persons will be asked to submit evidence thereon?

Mr. E. Brown

The Holidays With Pay Committee held its first sitting on 12th April. I understand that certain preliminary evidence will be taken first from the Ministry of Labour, on 27th April, and that thereafter the committee has decided to take evidence initially from the major industrial and commercial organisations interested; but all bodies and persons interested are being invited to submit evidence.

Mr. Lyons

Has my right hon. Friend considered inviting to the committee, at an early stage in its proceedings, representatives of all those industrial firms who have for so long carried on this practice, se that their experience may be considered by the committee?

Mr. Brown

The hon. Member will understand that this matter has passed out of my administration and that it is in the hands of the committee. I have no doubt that members of the committee, which consists of four representatives of the Federation and four of the Trades Union Congress, will know who can give evidence and who may be invited.

Mr. Lyons

When the Minister's representatives go before the committee in a week's time, would he consider suggesting to the committee that the industrial organisations I have indicated will be in a position to give important evidence?

Mr. Brown

That is not our function. Our function is to give as much assistance as we can in regard to matters as they are.

11. Mr. Lyons

asked the Minister of Labour the latest estimate of the number of employed persons receiving annual holiday with pay in all sections, including Departments of State; and the percentage this represents of the whole volume of such employment?

Mr. Brown

It is estimated that the number of workpeople covered by collective agreements between organisations of employers and workpeople providing for annual holidays with pay, including those covering the employés in Government industrial establishments, is between 1½ and 1¾ million. It is known, however, that in addition large numbers of salaried persons, shop assistants, workers on "standing" wages and wage-earners employed by some individual firms who are not parties to collective agreements, receive holidays with pay, but the total number of such employés is not known. My hon. Friend is no doubt aware that I have recently appointed a committee whose terms of reference include the investigation of the extent to which holidays with pay are now given.

Mr. Lyons

Is it not the fact that, in no case where this system of paid holidays has been adopted, has any other system ever been reverted to?

Mr. Brown

I am not aware that anyone who has adopted it has gone back on it.

Mr. Thorne

Is it not the case that all Members of Parliament are paid for their holidays?