§ MR. J. BURNS
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the experimental eight-hour day introduced into the Cartridge Factory at Woolwich Arsenal has been so successful as to warrant its extension to all Departments under his control; and, if so, when will such change be introduced?
§ COLONEL HUGHES (Woolwich)
Will the right hon. Gentleman make it clear that any experiment, or extension of the experiment, of an eight-hour day will be without reduction of pay?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN,&c.) Stirling,
Yes, Sir; I have carefully considered this question of reducing the hours of labour in the Ordnance Factories, which has been urged upon me by my hon. Friend and by several deputations within the last year. The result of my inquiry has been to satisfy myself and my Colleagues that the conditions and circumstances of those factories, and the nature of the work done in them, are such as to admit of the reduction to 48 hours a week (or an average of eight hours a day) with advantage both to the Public Service and to the men employed; and I will direct the change to lie brought into operation as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made. I would add that I look for the loyal co-operation of all the workmen in carrying into effect this change, which I trust will prove greatly beneficial to them.
§ MR. J. BURNS
Will this reduction of hours to eight necessitate any altera- 925 tion or reduction in the wages of the men? I am sure they will be deeply grateful to the Government for this important, change.