HC Deb 06 May 1895 vol 33 cc528-9
MR. J. HAVELOCK WILSON (Middlesbrough)

I beg to ask the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether he can state the names of the shipowners who have contracts to carry coal for Her Majesty's Navy; and whether any steps have been taken to enforce the Fair Contract Resolution of 13th February 1891, upon all shipowners contracting to carry coals for the Admiralty?

The HON. MEMBER further asked whether the Civil Lord was aware that the shipping companies engaged in carrying troops are evading the Fair Contract Resolution of 13th February 1891, and are paying the sailors and firemen 10s. per month below the recognised rate of wages for seamen; whether he is aware that the steamship Jumna is about to engage a crew for another voyage; and whether it is his intention to insist that the crew shall be paid the recognised trade union rate of wages?


No contract is made with shipowners to carry coal for the Navy, but the Admiralty agents at Cardiff take up a ship when required. The Jumna, hired transport, which has been engaged in the conveyance of troops since October last, is about to make a voyage to the Cape and back on Army service. The rate of wages which will be paid to the crew are not known. The Merchant Shipping Acts provide for official supervision of the agreement made by the master of every vessel with each man whom he engages for a voyage. Under these Acts special protection is thus given to the interests of the seamen and firemen of the Mercantile Marine; and it is the statutory duty of the Board of Trade to take care that the conditions of their employment are explained to the men. It has not been considered that the Resolution of the House (as to the payment of the current rate of wages) has called for any action in the case of chartering ships.


Arising out of that question, I beg to ask the hon. Gentleman whether the Admiralty intend to insist on the payment of the trade union rate of wages on board colliers employed to carry coal; and also whether the Contract Resolution was not intended to apply to ships as well as to workshops, and, if so, whether it is the intention of the Admiralty to enforce it?


I have, answered the supplementary question in the answer I have already given. I think, if the hon. Gentleman will read the answer as it appears in the papers, he will find all the information he wants.

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