HC Deb 10 February 1943 vol 386 cc1324-5
Sir Douglas Hacking

In view of the proof provided by the House yesterday that the introduction without previous inquiry of the Catering Wages Bill is in fact controversial, may I ask the Leader of the House what action the Government propose to take in the matter?

Mr. Eden

I, of course, agree that the division showed quite clearly that there is a measure of difference between us, but I am not without hope that, as we proceed with the Committee stage, we shall be able to iron out some of these differences. At any rate, I can assure my right hon. Friend that it is the intention of the Government to give full and fair opportunity for discussion on the Committee stage in order that all points of view may be ventilated and, I hope, progress towards agreement reached.

Mr. Gallacher

Is it not the case that there would have been the greatest possible differences on the question of the Essential Work Order if the workers and the Labour Party had organised themselves in the way that the right hon. Gentleman and his friends organised themselves against this Bill?

Major Petherick

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the doctrine promulgated yesterday, that the sole interpreters of the validity of a Government pledge are the Government themselves, is a very dangerous one, and will he reconsider the whole matter?

Mr. Speaker