HC Deb 13 February 1941 vol 368 cc1507-8
70. Mr. James Hall

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware of the discontent created by the disparity of allowances for fares and refreshment which are being paid to fire watchers by different employers; and whether he will consider amending the Order to ensure the operation of a more equitable arrangement?

Mr. Mabane

The arrangement of business premises, and the circumstances of their occupiers and workers, vary so considerably that specific uniform provision for amenities would hardly be possible in the Order.

Mr. Hall

Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that while good employers are only too ready to give good allowances and arrive at a decision which is satisfactory to both sides, bad employers are making use of this Order in a vindictive way and creating difficulties with the workers?

Mr. Mabane

I should be very glad to have information of any such facts. The consultations required by the Order were intended to prevent any action of that sort being taken. If the hon. Gentleman would give information to the appropriate Department, I am sure action would be taken.

Mr. Maxton

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that since fire watching was made compulsory there has been a substantial fall all round in the remuneration that has been paid for it?

Mr. Mabane

I am sure the hon. Gentleman knows that the Compulsory Order has not yet been applied.