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Canteen Advisers

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 3 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Labour how many persons are employed by his Department as factory canteen advisers throughout the country; what amount is spent in this connection; and what average percentage of the recommendations put forward by these advisers are adopted by factory managements.

There are 18 canteen advisers and the present cost of their salaries is about £11,000 a year. As to the third part of the Question, statistics are not available. The advisers visit factories for the purpose of giving advice on all sorts of matters of detail connected with the running of canteens, and it would be quite impossible to say what percentage of their suggestions is in fact adopted, though employers do, in general, welcome their advice and most of the advisers' visits are made in response to direct requests for help by managements.

Is the Minister aware that one of these advisers visited a firm in Macclesfield which is exporting 90 per cent. of its output and that, among many recommendations, one was that the porcelain sink should be replaced by a galvanised one; and would the right hon. Gentleman please instruct the advisers that, while they carry out a useful job, they should try to be a little more serious about their recommendations?

I would not care to express an opinion on that until I knew all the facts of the case, but now that the hon. and gallant Gentleman has raised the matter I will have it looked into.

Has an adviser the right to walk into any canteen without permission; and is a firm liable to prosecution if it does not carry out the recommendations of the adviser?