HC Deb 17 October 1950 vol 478 cc1856-7
2. Mr. Arthur Colegate

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is taking to implement the recommendations on pages 46 and 47 of the Report of an Inquiry into the Operation of the Catering Wages Act, 1943, in the hotel industry.

Mr. Isaacs

Immediately on publication of the Report, I asked both sides of the industry for their early observations. I also invited the Licensed Residential Establishment and Licensed Restaurant Wages Board to give consideration to the suggestions of the Commission for modifying the current wages regulation Order. These suggestions are now being considered by the Administrative Committee of the Board but I cannot say, in advance of proposals being submitted to me under the statutory procedure, what will be the result of the Wages Board's deliberations.

As regards the other proposals contained in the Report, I have reminded all sections of the industry of the very great need for speed in dealing with this matter and I hope to receive the views of the two sides at an early date. I cannot say in advance, however, what steps will be necessary to give effect to such proposals as are found to be generally acceptable.

I desire to take this opportunity of expressing publicly my appreciation of the way in which the Catering Wages Commission have carried through this inquiry on my direction.

Mr. Colegate

Does the Minister agree with the suggestion made in the Report that a satisfactory structure of wages and conditions can best be built up gradually on the basis of voluntary collective agreements?

Mr. Isaacs

I should prefer to wait for the observations of both sides of the industry and to consider them before making any comment.

Sir Peter Macdonald

Is it not a fact that the right hon. Gentleman promised this House, when he appointed the Commission of Inquiry, that this matter would be treated as one of extreme urgency, and, as the Commission reported last July, when are we going to hear what action the Government are going to take?

Mr. Isaacs

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the main Question.

Mr. Gibson

May we take it that when the consideration of these recommendations has ended, my right hon. Friend will ensure that a statutory minimum is laid down for these people?

Mr. Isaacs

I can only say that a certain obligation is placed upon me under the Act and that certain statutory requirements have to be fulfilled. I must wait for those requirements to be fulfilled.

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