HC Deb 15 November 1951 vol 493 cc1155-6
39. Mr. C. S. Taylor

asked the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement on the operation of the Catering Wages Act, and the constitution and operation of the various wages boards.

Sir W. Monckton

Five wages boards have been established under the Catering Wages Act, 1943, in accordance with recommendation made by the Catering Wages Commission some years ago. Wages Regulation Orders have been made to give effect to proposals submitted by four of these boards.

As regards the two boards for residential establishments, the Catering Wages Commission made certain suggestions of a long-term character in the report of their inquiry which they submitted in July, 1950, and they still have under consideration certain questions arising out of that report. I am waiting to hear further from the Commission and will then review the matters involved.

Mr. Taylor

As the working of these boards at the present time finds favour with neither employers nor employees, would the Minister say that he is prepared to tackle this as a matter of great urgency?

Sir W. Monckton

I shall have the advantage of meeting the Chairman of the Commission in the next few days and that may help me further on my way.

Colonel Alan Gomme-Duncan

Can my right hon. and learned Friend say how many of these boards are operating for Scotland, and in Scotland?

Sir W. Monckton

I have not the figure, but if my hon. and gallant Friend will ask me I will let him know in due course.

Mr. C. W. Gibson

Is the Minister aware that the trade unions interested in the catering industry are strongly in favour of maintaining this organisation?

Sir W. Monckton

I shall not overlook the fact that there are two sides represented in this matter, and when I review it I will consider both.