HC Deb 26 April 1965 vol 711 cc23-4
31. Mr. Dudley Smith

asked the Minister of Labour, in view of the rise in the cost of living, if he is satisfied with the operation of the Catering Wages Act; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Thornton

The Catering Wages Act was repealed in 1959 and I assume the hon. Member has in mind the Wages Councils Act, 1959, under which four wages councils for the catering industry operate. I do not think the operation of these councils is unsatisfactory.

Mr. Smith

I apologise for giving the wrong definition, but is the hon. Gentleman aware that large numbers of people employed in the catering industry are still comparatively poorly paid at their basic wages and have to rely to a large extent on tips which they receive? In view of the fact that the cost of living is rising, and of the extra pressure which is being exerted by the current Budget, does the hon. Gentleman not think it time that the Minister should have a further look at these councils to see if something could be done to improve the lot of those who work in the catering industry?

Mr. Thornton

I think that that will be a matter for the councils to consider themselves in the first place.