HC Deb 04 March 1872 vol 209 cc1326-7

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether the Convicts employed in Chatham Dockyard were excused from work on the 27th ultimo; and, if so, why an indulgence granted to the Prisoners was withheld from the Artizans of the Dockyard?


asked, Whether the Government would grant the officers and men connected with the Dockyards and Victualling Establishments generally, an opportunity of celebrating the recovery of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, as had been done by the War Office to the persons employed in that Department?


replied that no holiday had been given to the convicts by the authority either of the Admiralty or the Home Office. The Director of Convict Establishments, however, he believed, acting on the instructions contained in a general Circular, had kept the convicts in their cells instead of compelling them to labour on the Thanksgiving Day. The Admiralty and the War Office, for reasons which he was sure would recommend themselves to the House, had allowed the artizans at Woolwich and Deptford to share in the great rejoicings in the metropolis, and he regretted that the great pressure of work at the other dockyards did not permit them to give a holiday to the 13,000 men employed in them. The Admiralty would otherwise have had great satisfaction in according that indulgence to a body of men who were most industrious and loyal, and whose relations with their employers had throughout a long course of years been as cordial as those which could have existed in any private yard. He hoped, however, he would not appeal in vain to hon. Members, when he expressed a wish that they would abstain as far as possible from interposing between the Government and the workmen in their service.