HC Deb 23 February 1939 vol 344 cc531-2
1. Mr. Lyons

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can give, as at the latest known date, the approximate number of persons who in relation to their employment are, or will be in the current year, provided with paid holidays?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Lennox-Boyd)

It is estimated that approximately 9,000,000 workpeople are now entitled to annual holidays with pay, either under collective agreements, or under other arrangements. I am not in a position to estimate how many more workers may become entitled to such holidays under various arrangements during the present year, but I anticipate that, as the result of the Holidays with Pay Act, 1938, alone, very substantial additional numbers of workpeople will be provided with holidays with pay.

Mr. Lyons

While welcoming this very satisfactory figure, and hoping that this is by no means the end of the Government's efforts in this direction, can my hon. Friend say whether his Department will consider from time to time taking steps to supplement the agreements?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

We are always ready to take all possible steps to stimulate this very desirable improvement.

Mr. Thorne

Is it not a fact that the major part of these agreements has been arrived at through the trade unions?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Certainly, but with the good offices of the Department. I would draw the hon. Member's attention to the fact that a considerable number of trade boards and agricultural wage committees have issued orders as a result of the recent Act.

Mr. Lyons

Is it not a fact that in 1930 the Socialist Government of the day threw out the whole thing?

Mr. Lawson

In view of that supplementary question, may I ask the hon. Member if he is aware that the only people who voted against that Bill were the Conservatives?

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