§ MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, in reference to the appointment of temporary Census clerks for the last Census, whether he will furnish a list of the names of the 50 clerks first appointed, and the names of those subsequently appointed, with dates of the appointments, and state the number of days each one was employed upon day work and upon piecework, respectively, up to the end of last month; whether, having regard to the fact that a complaint was made to the Registrar General in the month of August, 1891, that the promise that "during the greater part of their engagement they will be employed on piecework" was not being observed, and the reply of the Registrar General that he was "only too anxious to employ them on piecework" as soon as possible, he will state whether the original statement that "during the greater part of their engagement they will be employed on piecework" has been adhered to in the case of any single clerk; and, if so, in whose case or cases; and whether additional clerks were appointed, after the first 50, upon the same terms and conditions as the first 50?
§ *MR. H. H. FOWLER
It is a fact that while most of these temporary clerks have been employed during a great part of their service on piecework rates, it was found impossible to fulfil the specified Regulation that they should be so employed during the greater part of their service; but, at the same time, the spirit 1869 of the Regulation which stated that a clerk might earn considerably more than his day-pay, has been fully carried out. The average amount paid to the whole of the 73 temporary clerks, including many of very short service, exceeded the initial rate of 6s. per day, at which they were all appointed, by very nearly 50 per cent., and has been equal to £11 6s. per month. The earnings of the 13 of the original 50 temporary clerks, who are still employed in the Census Office, have, moreover, averaged £12 7s. 5d. per mouth throughout the whole of their service of about 22 months. Most of the temporary clerks were employed for nearly six mouths upon special work, which, although not technically paid as piecework, was turned into a kind of modified piecework, since time day-pay of those engaged upon it was raised in proportion to the amount and accuracy of their work. If this work were classed as piecework the Regulation quoted above would have been fulfilled to the letter as well as in the spirit. I do not think that it is necessary to furnish the detailed statement asked for by the hon. Member.
§ MR. BOUSFIELD
Arising out of the answer, may I ask if the right hon. Gentleman does not regard as binding the promise to employ the clerks on piecework? Has not that obligation been broken, with the result that the clerks have earned a great deal less than they would have done had the promise been carried out?
§ *MR. H. H. FOWLER
The answer of the Registrar General is that he has fulfilled the obligation in spirit, and the men have had a large amount of piecework. It was impossible to fulfil the obligation to the letter.