MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will insert a clause in the Irish Local Government Bill to give powers to the County Councils, and the other bodies to be created under it, to enforce the Fair Wages Clause and to prevent what is known as the sweating system in trades, as is done by the Government when contracting for supplies for the various departments of the public service?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I am afraid I cannot consent to the insertion in the Bill of a clause having the objects stated in the Question. The Fair Wages Resolution, dated the 13th February, 1891, is expressly limited to Government contracts, and does not 382 include those of local public bodies. There has been no legislation on the subject of the Resolution in so far as concerns the contracts entered into by County Councils and other local authorities in England, nor, so I am informed, does the English Local Government Board interfere in any way with respect to the conditions on which such contracts are carried out.