§ MR. FORWOOD (Lancashire, Ormskirk)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if he will lay upon the Table the Minutes of Evidence taken by himself and the Civil Lord of the Admiralty in connection with the pay and position of the workmen in Her Majesty's naval establishments, and the decision of the Admiralty, before any Vote on the Navy Estimates is submitted?
Part of the evidence given on occasions like those which my hon. Friend the Civil Lord and myself have paid to the various yards and establishments of the Admiralty consists of statements which, in the interests of the workmen themselves, should not be published. The Board of Admiralty, of which my right hon. Friend was recently Secretary, did not lay upon the Table the evidence which he similarly received. My right hon. Friend will probably feel gratified that the present Board propose to follow the precedent thus furnished by himself and his colleagues. The evidence which we have heard has covered so much ground, including a vast variety of trades and ratings, and will require such thorough examination, that I shall have to ask my right hon. Friend, and other Members who may feel interested in the subject, to exercise a good deal of patience before we can arrive at final conclusions on the large number of points which have been raised. The statement which I hope to lay before the House as the result of the inquiry cannot, I fear, possibly be made until after the Navy Estimates have been proposed and some, at least, of the Votes taken.