§ 3. Mr. Rhys Davies
asked the Minister of Labour whether he can state approximately the number of employed persons engaged in selling ice-cream from barrows or cycles in the streets of this country; whether he is aware of the inferior conditions under which many of them are employed; and whether he will consider setting up a trade board to lay down a decent rate of wages for them?
§ The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown)
I have no reliable information as to the number of persons in this class of employment. In the course of inquiries made this summer I found that the normal practice of the larger firms in this business is to pay their men a guaranteed minimum wage plus commission, and I was assured that the average weekly earnings are much in excess of the guaranteed minimum wage plus commission, and I was assured that the average weekly earnings are much in excess of the guaranteed minimum. I am also informed that these firms supply uniform and contribute to thrift bonus schemes to help men to have a sum in hand at the end of the season. The discussions which are now taking place between my Department and employers and work-people's organisations in the retail distributive trades, with a view to the better regulation of wages and working conditions, cover selling of this kind, and I do not think that it is necessary, pending the outcome of those discussions, to take special action in regard to this class of salesmen
§ Mr. Tomlinson
Are we to understand that the suggestion was that there should 1022 be a minimum wage plus commission, which would give a guaranteed income by these firms?