§ 1. Mr. Roland Robinson
asked the Minister of Labour whether it is proposed to introduce legislation to give effect to the recommendations of the Amulree Report in regard to industries where statutory bodies for the enforcement of minimum rates of wages exist, in order to give trade boards and agricultural wages committees power to make provision for one week's holiday with pay?
§ 2. Mr. Mander
asked the Minister of Labour whether he can now state when it is proposed to introduce the legislation recommended in the report of the Committee on Holidays with Pay?
3. Mr. Rathbone
asked the Minister of Labour whether he has any statement to make about the report of the Committee on Holidays with Pay?
§ 9. Mr. Lawson
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the report on Holidays with Pay?
§ The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown)
Consideration has now been given to the recommendations of the Committee on Holidays with Pay. The Government welcome these recommenda- 2205 tions and desire to give effect to them to the fullest practicable extent. I propose, in conjunction with my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries to introduce a Bill empowering trade boards and agricultural wages committees to provide for holidays with pay, and enabling the machinery of the Ministry of Labour to be used, if desired, in the administration of holiday schemes. If there is a general desire to facilitate the passage of this Bill as a non-contentious measure, I hope to be able to pass it into law during the present Session. I do not think it will be opportune to include in this Bill any proposal for dealing specially with domestic servants, as was recommended by the committee.
The Government attach special importance to the recommendations for encouraging voluntary agreements for holidays with pay, and for stimulating the co-ordination of industrial, educational, transport, lodging and other holiday arrangements which is essential if workers are to be enabled to take proper advantage of their holidays. These recommendations do not require legislation. Questions of co-ordination of holiday arrangements concern a number of different Departments and a standing Inter-departmental Committee is being set up to deal with this aspect of the matter. In this connection I am also setting up a special branch in the Ministry of Labour.
The committee's proposals with regard to the fixing of the Easter holiday will be borne in mind, but I am advised that there is no immediate prospect of being able to give effect to them.
As regards the general legislation which the committee recommended for a later date, the Government intend to give consideration in due course to such legislation if circumstances are such as to make it necessary, but at the present time it is not possible to forecast the nature of the legislation which will be required.
§ Mr. R. Robinson
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the decision of the Government will be received with great satisfaction throughout the country, and can he further say whether the Government are now definitely committed to the principle of a week's holiday with pay, and whether the Government propose to implement the recommendation of the Amulree Report that, if holidays with pay 2206 throughout industry are not universal before the year 1940, the Government should make it compulsory?
§ Mr. Mander
Does the right hon. Gentleman propose to deal by legislation now with all the recommendations in the Amulree Report where immediate action is recommended, or is he only going to deal with some of them?
§ Mr. T. Williams
Are we to understand from the reply of the Minister that the only power he is giving to the agricultural wages committees is to decide either in favour of or against a week's holiday with pay for agricultural workers?
§ Mr. Mabane
Does the reply of the Minister mean that the Government are or are not going to appoint a date under the Fixed Easter Act?
§ Mr. Tomlinson
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the general satisfaction which his statement may bring to many people will not carry in Lancashire, inasmuch as the majority of workers there have no hope of receiving that of which he speaks, unless the Government bring forward legislation?