HC Deb 06 December 1961 vol 650 c1375
24. Mr. Spriggs

asked the Minister of Labour how many representations his Department has received protesting about the Government's failure to provide legislation for health, welfare and safety in shops and offices.

Mr. Hare

Sixty-two letters, from 48 different correspondents have been addressed or forwarded to my Department pressing for legislative action in the current Parliamentary Session.

Mr. Spriggs

Is the Minister aware that there are approximately 3½ million men and women working in shops and offices? Is he further aware that I have received a protest from a trade union branch, which has organised shop and office workers, at the Government's dilatoriness in legislating for health, welfare, and sick pay in shops and offices?

Mr. Hare

The vast majority of the letters that have come to my Department have come from the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers. As I and my right hon. Friends have mentioned in the House, we have very much regretted that there has had to be this delay in introducing this legislation but, in view of the full Parliamentary programme, it was thought wise to see that proper time was made available in the next Session.

Mr. Marsh

In view of the promises given by the Government in the last Session, can the Minister tell the House what guarantees he has given his 62 correspondents that would enable them to have more faith in the Government's word this year than last?

Mr. Hare

As far as I am concerned, I have given my word.

Hon. Members