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Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (Scotland) Bill

Volume 116: debated on Tuesday 28 May 1940

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Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

4.11 p.m.

My Lords, in moving that the House do now resolve itself into Committee on this Bill, I should like to make one observation with reference to a point raised by the noble Lord opposite, Lord Addison. I understand that his proposal was that additional powers should be conferred upon the Wages Board to enable the Board to relate a minimum wage to a specified number of hours. I am informed that the present practice is one under which weekly rates fixed by committees are related to specific weekly hours, usually varying, of course, according to the season of the year; and at the end of that number of hours the Orders provide for other rates of pay to be paid, which are really at an overtime rate. There is nothing in this Bill to disturb that exist- ing practice, and therefore I think that the noble Lord may rest assured that the point which he had in mind is really met. I beg to move.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—( Viscount Caldecote.)

My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Viscount for what he has said with regard to the point which I raised last time. I was of course familiar with the fact which he has mentioned. I will only re-state my belief that before very long the Board will find themselves compelled to adopt a standard of hours to which they will relate a standard wage. However, I take his expression of good intention to include this obvious fact, which will certainly be achieved before long, without legislation, perhaps, within the administrative work of the Board.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly:

[The EARL OF ONSLOW in the Chair.]

Clause 1:

Power of Board to direct reconsideration of minimum rates.

1. The Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (Scotland) Act, 1937 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act) shall have effect as if for Section six thereof (which section empowers the Secretary of State to direct a committee to reconsider minimum rates of wages) there were substituted the following section:—

"6.—(1) The Board, if they are of opinion, having regard to the economic conditions of the industry, that any minimum rate of wages should be varied, may direct the appropriate committee to reconsider such rate, and thereupon the committee shall within such time as the Board may direct reconsider the same and notify to the Board the result of their reconsideration.

had given Notice of two Amendments—namely, in subsection (1) of the substituted Section 6, to leave out "having regard to the economic conditions of the industry," and, after the said subsection (1), to insert:

"(2) In proceeding under the foregoing subsection the Board shall have regard to the economic conditions of the industry."

The noble Viscount said: This is purely a drafting Amendment, made for the purpose of leaving out certain words in this part of the clause and inserting them, by the second Amendment which I shall move, at a later point.

Amendment moved—

Page 1, line 13, leave out from the beginning of the line to ("that") in line 14.—(Viscount Caldecote.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

I now come to the second Amendment, and I beg to move the insertion of the words standing in my name.

Amendment moved—

Page 1, line 19, at end insert the said new subsection.—(Viscount Caldecote.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

Schedule agreed to.