asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the fact that evidence of shortage of staff seriously affecting the service of meals at essential works' canteens has been placed before his Department and before the Ministry of Food, he can announce any further action taken to alleviate a condition which is aggravated by prolonged delay in applying the Essential Work Order to canteens covered by a National Joint Industrial Council agreement?
I would refer my hon. Friend to the replies given to the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Burke) on 11th March and to the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Evelyn Walkden) on 18th March.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the reply to which he referred does not deal with the reasons for the Essential Work Order being held up, and can he explain why the Essential Work Order for the catering industry is held up?
The reply states that it is under consideration, and it is still there.
How long is it going to be under consideration?