§ SIR JAMES HASLETT (Belfast, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if he is aware that the wages paid to coopers on board Her Majestys' Navy 556 is below the current rate paid elsewhere; and will he take steps to remedy this inequality?
§ MR. H. O. ARNOLD-FORSTER (Belfast, W.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the Admiralty has considered the case of the Royal Naval Coopers; whether they are willing to grant to the coopers in the Royal Navy the same position, remuneration, and privileges as are granted to other skilled shipwrights; and whether it is proposed to call upon Naval Maltese coopers to take their turn in foreign service?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMI-RALTY (Mr. W. E. MACARTNEY,) Antrim, S.
The conditions of service and the nature of the duties of coopers on board Her Majesty's ships differ from those of men in private employment; and no proper comparison can therefore be drawn between the pay given in the Navy and the wages paid in the open market. It is not proposed to reconsider the scale of pay winch was settled so recently as 1891, or to place coopers in the same position as shipwrights. Maltese coopers are specially entered for service on the Mediterranean station only, and there is no intention of calling upon them to serve elsewhere. It is customary to employ native coopers on all foreign stations when they can be obtained.