HC Deb 28 September 1944 vol 403 cc398-9
13. Mr. Martin

asked the Minister of Labour when he expects the provisions of the Catering Act to be fully operative in London hotels; and whether he is satisfied with the progress made to date.

Mr. Bevin

As my hon. Friend will see from the first annual report of the Catering Wages Commission, copies of which are available in the Vote Office, the Commission has reached a tentative view in favour of the establishment of a small number of wages boards which will cover, with isolated exceptions, the whole of the field. Since making this Annual Report, the Commission has announced its intention to recommend a wages board for unlicensed non-residential catering establishments and no doubt other proposals will follow shortly. I know that the Commission have proceeded with their investigations as expeditiously as possible, but, naturally, they have had to examine the facts thoroughly:

Mr. Colegate

On a point of Order. May we have this window behind us closed, because of the draught?

Viscountess Astor

I beg of you, Mr. Speaker, not to have the window closed, because it is terribly stuffy in here.

15 and 16. Major Sir Edward Cado—an

asked the Minister of Labour (1) whether, in view of the probable rush of tourists to England immediately after the cessation of hostilities in Europe, the Catering Wages Commission are taking any special steps to meet the requirements of visitors from overseas;

(2) whether his attention has been drawn to a publication issued by Mr. R. G. Pinney, on behalf of the Travel and Industrial Development Association, entitled Britain, Destination of Tourists, drawing attention to the importance of developing the tourist traffic in this country; and whether he proposes to appoint an official national tourist organisation for this purpose.

Mr. Bevin

I am aware of the publication referred to. Parliament decided that the Catering Wages Commission should be charged with the duty of enquiring into means for meeting the hotel and catering requirements of the public, including in particular, the requirements of visitors from overseas' and for developing the tourist traffic. Reference is made to this matter in the annual report of the Commission, which has been presented to Parliament, and I have asked the Commission to deal with this question as a matter of urgency.

Sir E. Cadogan

In view of the millions spent by tourists in normal times in this country, and the loss of our useful exports, is the Minister still of opinion that the Catering Wages Commission is adequate, either in personnel or powers, to facilitate this all-important traffic?

Mr. Bevin

They must investigate and report, and the decision will rest with Parliament as to the attitude to be taken on their report.

Viscountess Astor

Will the Minister bear in mind that tourists want good food, good bathrooms, good coffeeg

An hon. Member

And good beer.

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