The only inquiry into the question of establishing trade boards in the catering trades was made in 1930, when the late Sir Arthur Colefax was appointed as Commissioner to hold a public inquiry with regard to proposals for applying the Trade Boards Acts to the catering trade. His report was concerned mainly with legal aspects of the proposals and did not deal with the desirability of establishing trade boards, as he took the view that this was a matter solely for the Minister of Labour. He expressed the conclusion, however, that subject to certain views which he expressed as a matter of law with regard to the form of the special order that would be necessary, the objections to the establishment of a trade board which were relied upon at the inquiry did not provide any sufficient reason why the Trade Boards Acts should not be applied to the industry if the Minister considered that course to be expedient.
As my right hon. Friend is anxious to introduce an agreed Measure based on the facts of the case, and as there are so many acknowledged difficulties to be overcome and the Bill is so wide in its scope, will he refer the question to an impartial committee to go into the whole matter in the light of probable post-war conditions and consider the findings before proceeding further?
I am in negotiation with the trade at the moment, and I shall consider anything that is put up to me, subject to this—and I say it as a considered judgment—that I cannot give way in any circumstances on the principle that there must be a wage foundation of some kind in this industry.