HC Deb 07 March 1899 vol 68 cc26-7

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the system of utilising soldiers to execute carpentry and other skilled work required in and about barracks deprives civilian tradesmen of employment; if he can state at what rate of pay soldiers who perform this work are remunerated: and, whether it is intended still further to extend this system?


In accordance with paragraph G90 of the Regulations for Engineer Services incidental repairs to War Department Buildings are executed by military labour where it is available. Soldiers so employed are paid 2d. or 1½d. an hour according to their skill. It is proposed to continue this system in the interest both of the public purse and of the soldiers, who thereby are put in a better position to obtain employment on leaving the colours.


Will not this practice inflict injustice on civilian tradesmen? Has not the Cork Allied Trades Association adopted a Resolution complaining of the practice?


I do not know, but if they had it would not interfere with the policy we are pursuing.