HC Deb 02 July 1954 vol 529 cc1716-8

Amendments made: In page 2, line 38, leave out from "except," to first "a," in line 41, and insert: in accordance with such a consent as is mentioned in subsection (4) of this section. In page 3, line 1, after "except." insert: in accordance with such a consent."—[Mr. Watkinson.]

Mr. Watkinson

I beg to move, in page 3, line 26, at the end, to insert: (4) If in the case of any establishment, by reason of the seasonal requirements of a holiday resort or other special circumstances, it appears to the Minister reasonable and proper so to do, he may grant his consent in writing for the employment at that establishment, subject to inch conditions, if any, as may be specified in the consent, of persons as night-bakery workers otherwise than in accordance with either or both of the conditions specified in paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (2) of this section, and any such consent may be revoked by the Minister at any time. This Amendment and the two preceding ones meet representations which were made in Committee by hon. Members representing holiday resorts, and particularly, I think, the representation of my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) that there was a slight doubt that, as holiday resorts are not specifically mentioned in the Bill, they might be considered as not being allowed the special considerations which, I think, they undoubtedly need in the Bill.

The suggestions have been discussed with both sides of the industry, and I believe that they are acceptable to both sides. They are, in effect, largely drafting Amendments, but I should like to make it plain that they do not interfere with the power of exemption of the Minister—that is reserved—and, of course, the Minister's discretion is not limited to holiday resorts and is available where necessary to meet other special needs. As it is a matter of drafting and has been agreed by both sides, I do not think that I need take up the time of the Committee further.

2.15 p.m.

Mr. Frederick Willey (Sunderland, North)

I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman for the consultations which he has had and the efforts which he has made to give effect to them. There is one question that I should like to ask for purposes of clarification, and because I think that many people use HANSARD as a useful commentary on the Bill. I think that this does not affect the 26 weeks.

Mr. Watkinsonindicated assent.

Mr. Willey

The question is whether in this matter he will, as I anticipate he will, consult the trade unions, because this affects later questions. It has been suggested to us that this should be confined to the bakeries in the seaside resorts.

In view of what the Parliamentary Secretary has said, I can see that such an Amendment would be difficult, but what we have in mind is that there may be difficulty, if this is applied to what we might call the export bakeries—the bakeries which export from, say, London to Margate. If the Parliamentary Secretary is not able to meet us, will he make sure that he will consult not only the trade unions but the bakery interests in the seaside resorts affected?

Mr. Harmar Nicholls (Peterborough)

The hon. Member has been talking of seaside resorts. I think that the reference in the Amendment to holiday resorts is much better.

Mr. Willey

I accept that. Am I right in assuming that this will probably have, in the light of the experience we have had of a similar provision in Scotland, a very limited effect?

Mr. Watkinson

We did look at the point, which is a very valuable one, that we might get large bakeries or exporting bakeries into an area. I think we can cover that as the Amendment is already drafted, but we will take care to see that the situation does not arise. On the general points which the hon. Gentleman has made, I have indicated assent, and I hope that that will meet his wishes.

Amendment agreed to.