§ MR. BELL (Derby)
To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether, in view of the fact that the system of piecework introduced into His Majesty's Dockyard, Devonport, has been the means of throwing out of employment a number of men, whilst others are earning sums varying up to £3 8s. per week above their wages, he will state whether any number of men are about to be discharged; and, if so, whether the piecework system is responsible for such further discharge.
(Answered by Mr. Pretyman.) It is not the fact that the system of piecework at Devonport has been the means of throwing out of employment a number of men,†See (4) Debates, exxxiii., 194.1470 nor has the premium system, recently introduced for trial, had any such effect. On the contrary, the number of men now employed is slightly greater than on the 1st April last. No man employed in the Dockyard has earned £3 8s. per week above his wages, or anything approaching that sum, under either of these systems. Some adjustment of trades has been necessary to meet variations of work, but this has not been in consequence of either the piecework or the premium system. It is possible that there may be further discharges due to similar re-adjustments of trade.