17 JUNE 1949, Page 5

It is a matter for sombre reflection that a country

which can invent radar and a mechanical brain is completely incapable of solving the problem of tips. A year or two ago waiters and the like gave it to be understood that they would rather have a living wage and no tips than a nominal wage supplemented by tips. So a Catering Trade Commission was set up and a living wage was decreed. That had an immediate effect on those hotels which, with results satisfactory to everyone, had added to per cent. to the bill instead of tips. Having to pay far higher wages they annexed the to per cent. themselves and told clients they could tip or not as they chose. Clients, un- willing to be thought stingy, did, and do, tip, with the result that the employees now get, instead of a nominal wage plus tips, an adequate living wage plus tips. It is idle to say that a hotel employee is tipped for personal attention. Personal attention is what he is paid his wages for, and that plainly ought to cover everything. Leaders in the catering trade are said to have devised a practicable scheme for coping with the tipping evil. Its appearance will be awaited with eagerness, but I- am afraid with considerable scepticism.

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