§ 17. Mr. E. J. Williams
asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been directed to the necessity of retail dealers in meat having an adequate supply of skilled labour to enable them to carry out the duty of cutting to a ration which will be imposed on them when the rationing of meat comes into operation on 11th March, and to the difficulties which slaughtering contractors under the Ministry of Food control of meat and livestock are experiencing in the matter of obtaining a sufficient number of skilled slaughtermen to enable them to carry out their contracts; and whether he is now prepared to accede to 546 the request of the National Federation of Meat Traders Associations that butchers' cutters and slaughtermen be placed on the Schedule of Reserved Occupations as from 25 years of age?
§ Mr. E. Brown
The request of the National Federation of Meat Traders Associations that the age of reservation of butchers' cutters and slaughtermen under the Schedule of Reserved Occupations should be reduced from 30 to 25 is being considered by my Department in consultation with the Ministry of Food. In regard to the suggestion that there is a shortage of skilled slaughtermen, may I refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave to a Question by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Colonel Baldwin-Webb) on 13th February.
§ Mr. Williams
In view of the extreme urgency of this matter of the age of reservation, can we have an undertaking from the Minister that the decision will be come to very shortly?