§ MR. STEADMAN
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty will he explain why the Admiralty are removing the naval stores from Deptford Victualling Yard to a block of warehouses, in the South-West India Docks; whether labourers are being transferred from Deptford Victualling Yard to work in the South-West India Dock at a weekly wage 572 of 20s.; and whether he is aware that the lowest wages paid by the Dock Company to their labourers for similar work is 24s. per week?
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The transfer of the naval stores from Deptford Naval Store Yard to a warehouse in the West India Docks has been decided upon after investigation by a Departmental Committee, in consequence of the space available at Deptford having become quite insufficient for the growing requirements of both the naval store and victualling services. The weekly wage for hired labourers at Deptford Yard is 20s., that is, 1s. higher than that paid to the similar class at Her Majesty's dockyards generally, and this rate will be continued at the Admiralty Depôt in the West India Docks. The rate of wages of dock labourers is understood to be 6d. per hour, but the Admiralty have no information as to the average weekly earnings, the continuity of engagement, and other conditions of employment of these men as a body, which would admit of comparison with their own employees.