§ Captain BOWYER
asked the Minister of Labour (1) what is the actual amount expended to date on investigation, administration, and inspection in connection with the Trade Boards which have been set up to date; and what will be the probable expenditure under these heads when the whole of those contemplated are in operation;
(2) how many Trade Boards are now in existence and what is their cost to date; how many Trade Boards it is proposed ultimately to set up; and what will be the approximate cost per annum when all those which are contemplated have been established?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
The number of trade boards in operation in the United Kingdom at the present time is 61, covering about 300,000 employers and 3,000,000 workers. On 31st March, 1919, the number of boards was 13, and on 31st March, 1920, 43. I regret that I am not in a position to supply my hon. and gallant Friend with the actual amount expended to date on investigation, administration, and inspection in connection with the trade boards which have been set up to date, but I may say that the cost for the six months ended 30th September, 1920,964W was £48,908. The cost of stationery and printing is not included in these figures, nor the cost of non-compliance inspectors under the National Insurance (Unemployment) Act, who, in the interests of economy, are engaged also on similar work under the Trade Boards Acts. It is not possible to state the number of trade boards which will ultimately be established, as this must depend upon the number of trades to which it may be expedient to apply the Acts. The cost of administration will not increase directly with the number of boards, but will tend to remain stationary, having regard to the fact that the highest rate of expenditure is reached before and immediately after the establishment of new boards.