§ MR. CUST (Southwark, Bermondsey)
To ask the Secretary of State for War whether the Report of the Commissioner appointed by the Army Council to inquire into the wages question in the Army boot-manufacturing districts of Northamptonshire has been received; and, if so, what was its effect and what is the result of the inquiry.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Arnold-Forster.) The Commissioner was appointed to inquire into the rate of wage for making Army boots, and to ascertain whether there was at that time a rate of wage accepted as current in the districts referred to. He has now reported that since the commencement of the war in South Africa no such rate has existed, and that consequently the War Department has not been in a position to insist upon the payment of any particular rate of wage in accordance with the Fair Wage Resolution. I am glad to say, however, that his association with the masters and the men has resulted in a settlement of the recent dispute, and an agreement between them which I have every reason to hope will be permanent.