HC Deb 14 July 1905 vol 149 cc742-3
Mr. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydfil)

To ask the hon. Member for Chorley, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether it has been represented to him that Messrs. Waygood amp; Company, liftmakers, who are now executing Government contracts at the new Sessions House, Old Bailey, and the Land Registration Office, is a non-union firm which makes it a condition of employment that none of its workers shall be members of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, or any other trade union, and that the conditions under which joiners and French polishers work are in violation of those sanctioned by the trades unions; and what action he intends taking in connection with these representations.

(Answered by Lord Balcarres.) In the first place I have to point out to the hon. Member that the First Commissioner is not responsible for the building or equipping of the new Sessions House, Old Bailey. The United French Polishers (London) Society has made a representation to the First Commissioner regarding the non-employment by Messrs. Waygood of union men. The First Commissioner, having made careful inquiry, is satisfied that Messrs. Waygood do not discriminate in any way as regards the employment of union or non-union workmen as engineers. It appears that in the polishing shop some men have been required to state whether they were unionists or not, but this has been done without the knowledge of the directors, who have given instructions that it shall not occur again under any circumstances. Messrs. Waygood will, of course, be required to conform, in the execution of any Government work with which they may be entrusted, to the spirit and intention of the Resolution of the House of Commons of February 13th, 1891.