§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether the Department received a letter in the early part of the present Session from the Trades Union Congress Parliamentary Committee, on behalf of the carpenters, joiners, stonemasons, and painters employed in the Government Departments at Woolwich and other places, asking the Secretary of State for War if he would receive a deputation from those bodies; whether it has been usual for Ministers to meet deputations of a similar character, and what were the grounds of refusal in this case; and whether the Secretary of State for War is willing to reconsider his decision in respect to the receiving of a deputation from the workmen in regard to the grievances of which they complain?
In February last a letter was received from the Trades' Union Congress Parliamentary Committee asking the Secretary of State to receive a deputation of carpenters, joiners, stonemasons, and painters employed in Government Departments. The Secretary of State declined to receive the deputation on the ground, as he informed the applicants, that it is open to the workmen of the War Department to bring any grievances from which they think they suffer to the notice of the officers responsible for the control of the various establishments, by authorised and recognised methods, and that complaints brought forward in this manner will always receive careful attention and consideration. He is not prepared to reconsider that decision.