§ COLONEL LOYD (Chatham)
I beg, on behalf of the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Kearley), to ask the Civil Lord of the Admiralty will he 1474 explain on what grounds 27 fitters have been discharged from the Chatham Yard during the past few weeks, seeing that during the same period almost double that number of men of the same trade have been and still are systematically working overtime?
§ MR. E. ROBERTSON
The men selected for discharge were entered for temporary employment, and their services were no longer required. Each man signed a paper on entry stating that his engagement was of a temporary nature only. I may state here that since the special efforts necessary to complete certain ships for commission, no overtime has been worked, except that necessary to keep the machines at work equal to the demand at the ships and shops, and on torpedo tubes; any failure in the output would entail further discharges. Limited overtime is also frequently necessary to keep certain machines at work so as to meet the pressing requirements of ships under construction and repair. Any failure in the output of the machines would certainly entail further discharges.