§ MR. T. H. BOLTON (St. Pancras, N.)
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether he is aware that Messrs. Holland & Hannen, contractors for work at the British Museum, have reduced the painters' wages to 7½d. per hour when the contract provided for payment at the rate of 8½d. per hour; and whether, if this is so, he will communicate with Messrs. Holland and Hannen on the subject, with a view to the payment of the rate of wages contemplated when the contract was given them?
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (Mr. PLUNKET, Dublin University)
The hon. Member is, I think, under a misapprehension. The minimum rate of wages for painters under the Government contract with Messrs. Holland & Hannen was 7½d. per hour, not 8½d., as the hon. Member seems to suppose. If, therefore, any painters are employed at 7½d. per hour at the British Museum, that would not be contrary to the terms of the contract, or contrary, as we believe, to the prevailing rates of wages in the trade.