HL Deb 30 July 1930 vol 78 cc1110-2

[The references are to Bill No. 72.]

After Clause 88, page 66, insert the following new clause:

Wages and conditions of employment of persons employed in connection with public service vehicles.

("(1) The wages paid by the holder of any road-service licence to persons employed by him in connection with the operation of a public service vehicle and the conditions of their employment shall not be less favourable to them than the wages which would be payable and the conditions which would have to be observed under a contract which complied with the requirement of any Resolution of the House of Commons for the time being in force applicable to contracts with Government departments.

(2) Any organisation representative of the persons engaged in the road transport industry may snake representations to the Commissioners to the effect that the wages paid to, or the conditions of employment of, any persons employed by the holder of any road-service licence are not in accordance with the requirements of the preceding subsection, and if the matter in dispute is not otherwise disposed of it shall be referred by the Minister of Labour to the Industrial Court for settlement.

(3) If it is decided by the Industrial Court that any person has been guilty of a breach of the provisions of this section he shall be liable to be dealt with in all respects as if he had failed to comply with a condition attached to his road service licence.")

The Commons insist on this Amendment for the following Reason:

Because on grounds of public safety, of efficiency and of fair competition between operators of public service vehicles it is necessary that fair wages and conditions of employment should obtain in the industry, and the application of the Fair Wages Resolution, which is generally understood and is already widely enforced, affords the most suitable and effective means of attaining this end.


My Lords, there is only one Amendment of those your Lordships made which the Commons have disagreed with and that is the one dealing with the Fair Wages Clause. I think I should like to read to your Lordships what was said by the late Minister of Transport, the Conservative Minister of Transport, on this clause in another place. He said: I am glad that the Minister has moved to disagree with the Lords in this respect. Undoubtedly, there has been in the past, and still is, a great deal of labour engaged in this transportation work which it underpaid, and this Amendment will not harm the good employer but simply bring up the bad employer. The Amendment was unanimously agreed to in another place, and I am glad to learn that it is likely to be accepted in your Lordships' House to-night. I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.—(Earl Russell.)


My Lords, it is true that my colleagues in another place agreed to accept this Amendment. I feel myself bound, of course, by the decision which they have arrived at, though I do not agree with them and I think the speech of the late Minister of Transport was entirely uncalled for and quite wrong.

On Question, Motion agreed to.