Catering Trade (Wages).

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons at on 16 July 1924.

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Photo of Dorothy Jewson Dorothy Jewson , Norwich

36.

asked the Minister of Labour whether any instructions are issued to Employment Exchanges with a view to checking the supply of cheap labour to catering employers; and what is the minimum rate of wages below Which work is not now offered to women at these Exchanges?

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

No such instructions have been issued. It is no part of the duty of Exchanges to inquire as to whether wages are suitable, provided always that there is no minimum rate fixed by law which is being infringed. When the question of stoppage of benefit arises, there are rules with which no doubt my hon. Friend is familiar.

Photo of Dorothy Jewson Dorothy Jewson , Norwich

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that recently, at one of the Exchanges, a woman was offered a job at 10s. a week for work in a picture-house cafe from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and that she had her benefit stopped because she refused the job? Does the right hon. Gentleman think that that is suitable employment within the meaning of the rules?

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

I am not aware of that case, but if the hon. Member will give me particulars I will have inquiries made.

Photo of Dorothy Jewson Dorothy Jewson , Norwich

It is quite a common case.

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

That is a statement; want the facts. If details of the case are supplied to me, I will look into it, and see exactly what can be done. Certainly the rules that are laid down for Committees do not at any rate prescribe that they shall act in a manner like that.

Photo of Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck , Nottingham South

When is the right hon. Gentleman going to set up a trade board, and stop the sweating in this industry?

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

We are now considering the matter in every case where a definite application is made, and the possibility shows itself that a trade desires a trade board.

Viscountess ASTOR:

The trade does not desire it, but the country does.

Photo of Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck , Nottingham South

My right hon. Friend has ample information.