HC Deb 09 June 1902 vol 109 cc99-100

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that a strike has recently taken place at the works of Messrs. Wyman & Sons, Government printers, Reading; and if he can state the number of hands on strike and the minimum rates of wages paid to women and girls recently employed in the different branches of the printing trade by the above-mentioned firm at Reading.


I am informed that it is the case that a strike has recently taken place at the works of Messrs. Wyman & Sons at Reading. Messrs. Wyman have reported to the Controller of the Stationery Office that About seventy to eighty" men "left off work on Friday, May 30th, without notice of any kind, immediately upon an additional girl layer-on from Edinburgh being put to feed a machine"; and that "about forty folding girls … were persuaded the next day to stay out. As regards the rates of wages paid by Messrs. Wyman at Reading, the firm has reported as follows:— We are in all branches paying provincial typographical scale. We had about twenty girl feeders of machines paid from 9s. weekly to 13s. weekly, and for special work 18s. weekly. Some of these came from Beccles, where they received 10s. Some were already working in Reading at 9s. in other offices. The Reading rate paid before we went there was 7s. 6d. to 10s. … We have no layers on at lower rates than mentioned.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in consequence of this strike we are not able to obtain the Debates in the Library later than those for the 26th May last, whereas we ought to have those for Friday, June 6th, and will he say whether this has been due to the staff at this end or the printers at the other end?

MR. NANNETTI (Dublin, College Green)

And will the hon. Gentleman make inquiry into this matter of the societies interested as well as of Messrs. Wyman?


If they wish to make any representations they can address them to me. I have not had my attention called to the point; raised by the hon. and gallant Member for West Newington, and I cannot say if it is as he states.


I only wish to draw the attention of the hon. Gentleman—[Cries of "Order, order!"] Then may I ask—


Order, order! The supplementary Question was going beyond that on the Paper, and notice ought to have been given of it. And now the hon. Member proposes to make some observations on it.