HC Deb 06 August 1896 vol 43 cc1690-2

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to complaints made on behalf of the Typographical Societies of Dublin and Belfast about the evasion of the terms of the Fair Wages Resolution in connection with Government printing contracts in Ireland; whether the printing required for Departments under the control of the Local Government Board of Ireland falls within the purview of the said Resolution; what steps, if any, have been taken to secure that the execution of such contracts as fall under the category of Local Government Board printing shall be carried out in accordance with such Resolution; and whether, in view of the fact that large Government printing and stationery contracts are about to be entered into for the Irish Public Departments, the Treasury will take note of the complaints in question and endeavour to have such contracts carried out in strict accord with the meaning and intention of the House of Commons Resolution of February, 1891?


The Fair Wages Resolution is expressly limited to Government contracts, and does not include those of local public bodies. If the Irish Local Government Board have any printing contracts of their own, the Resolution would presumably apply. The evidence given before the Committee on Stationery Contracts shows that some printing done for the National Education Commissioners was not considered by the contractors to be subject to the Resolution, but that view, of course, is not a correct one. I have reason to believe that an impression prevails that the Resolution applies to the printing done for certain local authorities in Ireland, such as Boards of Guardians; but they, of course, are not Government Departments, and the Resolution cannot affect them.


I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland will he explain why the Pair Wages Resolution of the House of Commons is not enforced in contracts in subordinate departments under the supervision of the Irish Local Government Board: is he aware that a great portion of the printing done for the Poor Law Department, such as jurors' lists, etc., is done by employers who persistently ignore the Fair Wages Resolution; and that a great portion of the public advertisements are given to newspapers produced under conditions antagonistic to the Resolution, and are transformed into different papers by the simple plan of changing name and heading of pages; and whether he will take measures to see that the Resolution is enforced in; Ireland in all printing contracts under the Irish Local Government Board?


I believe that the Fair Wages Resolution is in force in all Government contracts in Ireland. Boards of Guardians are, of course, not Government Departments, and the Local Government Board have no power to compel Boards of Guardians to comply with the terms of the Resolution.