§ MR. E. J. C. MORTON (Devonport)
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that the rate of wages paid to joiners by private shipbuilding firms who receive contracts from the Admiralty are from 5s. to 10s. above the rate paid by the Admiralty to joiners in Government employ; whether he is aware that joiners have to undergo a 38 long apprenticeship and to purchase an expensive kit of tools; and whether, under these circumstances, he will undertake that the rate of wages paid to joiners in Government employ shall be inquired into with a view to placing it on an increased and more fair standard.
§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER
Inquiries were recently made as to the rates of wages paid to joiners in private employment and joiners in the dockyards respectively, and it was ascertained that, taking into consideration the rates per hour, the rates of the latter compared favourably with those of the former. The rates of pay prevailing at the time of the inquiry referred to are substantially the same as those paid at the present day. All joiners, whether in the employment of the Government or not, must undergo a long apprenticeship, and must purchase tools for the prosecution of their trade. Under these circumstances it is not considered necessary to inquire further into the rates of pay of joiners in Government employment.