§ MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether the General Purposes Committee of the Devonport Town Council have made representations to the Dockyard authorities respecting their action in canvassing the Dockyard men for subscriptions to the Imperial Institute; whether it is in the power of the Dockyard authorities to discharge any man in their employment without assigning any reason whatever; whether his attention has been called to a letter by an employé in The Western Daily Mercury of the 17th instant, containing the following statements:—A meeting was convened by the Admiral Superintendent of Devonport Dockyard, to which two men of every gang were invited, to act as delegates for their respective parties. The number that attended was at the outside 12, which would mean six gangs; and, taking each gang to contain about 20 men, 120 were represented out of 3,000 or 4,000;whether the above statements are correct; whether similar proceedings have taken place at the several other Government Dockyards; whether the word has been sent round officially to the men on board Her Majesty's ships in harbour, that—they must make up their minds as to what they are going to give towards celebrating the Jubilee;whether the Admiral suggested collecting cards in the Dockyard; and, whether, in view of all the evidence of dislike on the part of the men to this system of canvassing, the practice is still to be persisted in?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Lord GEORGE HAMILTON) (Middlesex, Ealing)
I have 176 already, on two previous and separate occasions, informed the hon. Gentleman that his information on this subject is erroneous. Of the eight Questions he now asks the answer to all, except the seventh, is "No."