§ SIR SEYMOUR KING (Hull, Central)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the fact that the mates, deck hands, and stokers of the launches Humber and Trent, employed by the Customs on the Humber, are at present receiving lower rates of wages for longer hours of service than those current at the port of Hull in similar occupations in the merchant service; and, whether he will consider of improving the conditions of service for these men in both particulars?
§ MR. HANBURY
It would be misleading to limit the comparison to wages and hours of service only, without taking into account all the other conditions, such as continuity of service, steady pay, periodical increments, holidays, sick-pay, and possible gratuities on retirement. The Board of Customs received in May last a representation from the mates-in-charge, deck hands and firemen of the launches Humber and Trent, of the port of Hull, that their wages were lower than those paid to men similarly employed by shipowners and others at that port, and the applicants were informed in reply that as their rates of pay were settled by the Treasury in March I894 after communication with ether Government Departments as to the wages allowed therein for similar labour, the Board were not prepared to recommend to the rates were fixed for all ports at which such launches are used, irrespective of the rate of wages earned in private employment at any individual port, and experience shows that, taken as a whole, the terms of service are amply sufficient to attract men of the class required.