Oral Answers to Questions — Catering Trades (Regulation).

– in the House of Commons on 23rd July 1942.

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Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

asked the Minister of Labour when he proposes to put into operation his plans for improving the wages and conditions in the catering trades?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

As stated in reply to previous Questions, I am giving active consideration to this matter, but I am not yet in a position to make any further statement.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that he will not allow his excellent scheme to be obstructed or unduly delayed?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I think the hon. Member may be assured that I shall see it through.

Photo of Major Henry Procter Major Henry Procter , Accrington

asked the Minister of Labour (1) whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction of small private caterers and café proprietors in the North of England who are faced with competition from British Restaurants and are unable like the latter to obtain the protection of the Essential Work (General Provisions) Order; and whether he will arrange that the same conditions of deferment are applied to all sections of the catering trade whether operated by the Government or by local authorities; and

(2) whether British Restaurants are protected establishments under the Essential Work Order; and whether they are in a more favourable position so far as the reservation from military services of their staff is concerned than owners of small private cafés and restaurants?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

Catering establishments of local authorities were recently brought within the field of the Essential Work (General Provisions) Orders, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Food, after consultation with representatives of employers and employed with regard to conditions of service and otherwise. No similar representations have been made to me with respect to the catering trade generally.

Photo of Major Henry Procter Major Henry Procter , Accrington

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider an application from the catering trade as a whole, so that their men can be given the same treatment as those in British Restaurants?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I am willing to consider an application, but I would remind my hon. and gallant Friend that the basis of the Essential Work Order is to tie people to their jobs, and I have to have a knowledge of the rates and conditions to which I have to direct them.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Will my right hon. Friend do nothing to interfere with the useful progress of the British Restaurants scheme?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I think my answer is clear. I have applied the Essential Work Order in order to protect the people, who, in British Restaurants, are working on a trade union agreement, which makes the task of applying the Essential Work Order comparatively easy.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of the allegations from the catering trade regarding competition from British Restaurants are fantastic, and, further, that most of the success of good British Restaurants is due to voluntary service on the part of women?