HC Deb 14 March 1950 vol 472 cc887-8
2. Mr. Arthur Colegate

asked the Minister of Labour whether any report has yet been received from the Commission appointed to consider the defects in the working of the Catering Wages Act; and whether he is proposing to introduce legislation this Session to amend the Act.

4. Sir Peter Macdonald

asked the Minister of Labour when he expects to receive the report of the inquiry into the workings of the Catering Wages Act.

5. Mr. Ian Orr-Ewing

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can yet announce when the inquiry on the working of the Catering Wages Act will report; and whether the findings of the inquiry will be published before the holiday and tourist season opens.

6. Mr. Molson

asked the Minister of Labour what progress has been made by the Catering Wages Commission in the inquiry which he has directed them to make into the operation of the Catering Wages Act in the hotel industry; and when he expects to be able to make a further statement to the House.

Mr. Isaacs

The Catering Wages Commission are now engaged on the inquiry to which I directed them. While the Commission is proceeding with a due sense of urgency, I am informed by the chairman that there is a great deal of evidence still to be taken and considered, and it is too early to say when the report is likely to be available.

Mr. Colegate

In view of the very great urgency of the matter, as the industry must be ready when the season begins, will not the Minister urgently press the Commission to issue an interim report to remove some of the more objectionable features of the present position?

Mr. Isaacs

I can assure the House that the chairman of the Commission is really seized of the urgency of this matter and for other reasons, too, is himself anxious to conclude it as soon as he can. With reference to any interim report, I will direct his attention to that matter and see whether any useful value can come out of it.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

Will the Minister say whether, when the Commission has reported to him, he will take every possible step to see that publication is not delayed from the Ministry angle?

Mr. Isaacs


Sir P. Macdonald

In view of the fact that it will take some time to obtain all the evidence, will the right hon. Gentleman urgently consider the question of an interim report, because the catering and hotel industry must know the regulations before the season starts in order that it may cater for the tourist trade this summer? How is it going to do that unless it is able to make its decisions and arrangements at a very early date?

Mr. Isaacs

So far as the evidence is concerned, I think that all the evidence which has been asked for has been received. It is not a question of waiting for more evidence but of considering that which is already in. As I have already indicated, we are most anxious to see this matter cleared up and I will approach the Commission to see whether there is any likelihood of any interim report coming out which will be helpful.

Captain Duncan

Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the reports of the meeting of the Scottish Travel Association, presided over by an ex-Secretary of State for Scotland, in which strictures are made on the catering wages arrangements in Scotland?

Mr. Isaacs

As I have already asked the Commission to investigate these matters, I do not express any opinion myself.