MR. KEIR-HARDIE (West Ham, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State 1384 for War how many of the workmen in the Ordnance Store Department, at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, are paid at the rate of 19s. 6d. per week; whether these men, since the introduction of the eight hour system, are compelled to observe the statutory holidays without, pay; whether the officials connected with, the Department are paid for these; holidays; whether he will consider the advisability of either paying these men for the statutory holidays, or give them the opportunity which formerly existed of making good the lost time; and when the Government propose to give effect to the Resolution of the House, and pay these men a minimum of 24s. per week, which is the standard rate of wages for labourers in London?
§ * THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. WOODALL,) Hanley
(who replied) said: Six hundred and twelve labourers are employed in the Ordnance Store Department at Woolwich, at the weekly rating of 19s. 6d., to which the minimum has been increased from 17s. Since the adoption of the 48-hours week, the practice of working up certain holidays by overtime has been discontinued. But the employés of the Ordnance Store Department have five free holidays, and in most cases an additional seven days' leave with pay, so that they are enabled to draw their wages on the four statutory Bank holidays and to take three days' holiday besides. No deduction is made for holidays in the case of officials on fixed weekly or yearly rates. The improvement which has been made in the position of these workmen is, in the opinion of the Government, in effective accordance with the Resolution of the House of Commons to which the hon. Member refers.