Sir Douglas Hacking: I was remarking that we had discussed it, and I was about to say it was not my intention to discuss it any further, but I must refer to something that we have not discussed on the other Amendment, and that is the interpretation of "undertaking," because that is very germane to my Amendment.
Sir Douglas Hacking: I must submit to your Ruling, Mr. Williams, but the Amendment proposes to leave out something that is connected with an undertaking, and unless we know what an undertaking is, it is very difficult for me to explain the reason it is desired to leave out something.
Sir Douglas Hacking: I am prepared to give an undertaking to you, Mr. Williams, that I shall not discuss at any length the meaning of the word "undertaking." I will simply say that the activities of an undertaking are very wide, including, as I have already quoted, the supply of food or drink for immediate consumption. If, in addition to what is included under the word "undertaking," there are included...
Sir Douglas Hacking: I do not think one should include diners as workers connected with an hotel.
Sir Douglas Hacking: On this occasion I was not responsible for starting the discussion. I do not think it is the intention of the Government to include all these people under the provisions of the Bill. It will be noted by hon. Members that it is not the individual who is to be wholly or mainly engaged in certain activities before he is brought within the terms of the Bill; it is the undertaking. There-tore,...
Sir Douglas Hacking: I do not quite understand the meaning of "welfare and conditions"—
Sir Douglas Hacking: It is difficult not to follow up the interruption, because I feel that the interrupter has not given a fair description. I maintain that hours must be included if you are going to include the conditions of the workers. I believe the real object of the Bill is to regulate the wages, the hours, the conditions, and the welfare, if you like, of such workers as waiters, cooks, housemaids, and...
Sir Douglas Hacking: I am sorry to cross the Chair, but surely we are considering the setting-up of a Commission. That Commission appoints a wages board and advises the Minister with regard to the general conditions of the industry. I submit that I am entitled to bring that point to the notice of the Committee.
Sir Douglas Hacking: I must submit to your Ruling. As the Bill is at present drafted we have ancillary occupations brought under its provisions which I do not believe it is the intention of the Government to include, and I ask them to make it clear that these ancillary occupations are definitely left out. The only way they can do that is by accepting the Amendment.
Sir Douglas Hacking: I have been very impressed with what the hon. Member has said about leaving out these lowly paid people, and I agree that they ought to be included and not excluded. In order to meet him, I am prepared to leave out the words in my Amendment "administration, accounting," but I do not think I could go as far as to leave out "management."
Sir Douglas Hacking: I am not satisfied that the Amendment carries out the intention that we had in our minds, and, consequently, I beg to ask leave to withdraw it.
Sir Douglas Hacking: May I ask the Prime Minister very seriously whether, in view of the great bitterness already engendered in connection with this particular Measure, he will consider whether it is in the national interest that it should proceed?
Sir Douglas Hacking: In view of the proof provided by the House yesterday that the introduction without previous inquiry of the Catering Wages Bill is in fact controversial, may I ask the Leader of the House what action the Government propose to take in the matter?
Sir Douglas Hacking: May I ask a question on to-day's Business? In view of the very large number of Members who desire to take part in the Debate on the Second Reading of the Catering Bill will my right hon. Friend consider either giving a second day for the Second Reading discussion or, alternatively, suspending the Standing Orders?
Sir Douglas Hacking: In view of the fact that there are over 40 Members who wish to take part in this Debate, would my right hon. Friend not reconsider that decision?
Sir Douglas Hacking: On a point of Order. For the convenience of the House may I ask, Mr. Speaker, which Amendment you propose to call? I think you have an Amendment on the Order Paper and another manuscript Amendment which I handed in. I think it would be for the convenience of the House if you could say which Amendment will be called, and possibly when.
Sir Douglas Hacking: I beg to move, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, and to add: this House, whilst willing to support any measure necessary for the prosecution of the war and to give favourable consideration to any other measures which after impartial examination have won a general measure of agreement, cannot approve a Bill which, as a whole, fulfils neither of these requirements...
Sir Douglas Hacking: The trade which the right hon. Gentleman is dealing with. The right hon. Gentleman sent for members of the trade whom he obviously thought were concerned with this Bill and told them in September that they would, generally speaking, have to accept its provisions.
Sir Douglas Hacking: The catering trades were sent for by the Minister. He was the judge as to whom he should invite, and he invited representatives of the catering trade. I do not know who was there, but that was at the discretion of the Minister. He told them they would have to accept the terms of the Bill. No one else had to know. Everything had to be done in secrecy. I would like to know why the Bill was not...
Sir Douglas Hacking: There is no necessity for me to take the "Financial News." The Minister of Labour has told us that he has not any up-to-date statistics regarding wage conditions. We who are opposed to the Bill do not profess to know what the conditions are in this great and complicated industry. The Minister quoted something from Sir Arthur Colefax's Report made in 1931, but he did not say that Sir Arthur...