§ MR. S. WOODS (Lancashire, S.W., Ince)
I beg to ask the Civil Lord of the Admiralty—(1) whether he can state the probable date when the Navy Estimates will be next considered: (2) whether, when these Estimates are under consideration, he will be able to favourably entertain a proposal to establish the principle of a minimum wage in the Victualling Yard at Deptford for the labourers employed by Her Majesty's Government, such minimum wage being at the rate of 6d. per hour; and (3) whether he is aware that at the present time the labourers employed by private contractors are being paid at the rate of 6½d. per hour?
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
I am unable to answer the first part of the question. As regards the remainder, the Admiralty are not prepared to re-open the general settlement of Dockyard wages arrived at in 1893, and I would refer to the replies given on 14th and 18th February last to similar questions asked by the hon. and learned Member for Deptford, in which I stated that the Admiralty did not propose to establish a minimum rate of pay for labourers of 24s. a week, and, while aware of the wages paid by contractors, do not consider the cases are comparable.