HC Deb 04 May 1905 vol 145 cc1019-20

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £62,400, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1906, for the Royal Parks and Pleasure Gardens."

MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

asked for an explanation of the increased charge in respect of Richmond Park and for information as to the control of motor-cars there. There had been a great deal of complaint because the drivers of motor-cars utilised the good roads in Richmond Park as a sort of racing ground, making it unsafe for children to be sent there to find enjoyment. He noticed that a placard had been put up with the object of mitigating the nuisance, but it appeared to him to have been ineffective. Would the noble Lord inform the House what were the regulations which applied to motor-car driving in Richmond Park?

MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)

drew attention to the rates of wages paid to the gardeners in Kew Gardens. The wages paid there were considerably under those which were paid to men doing the same class of work in the public parks of London. He wished to ask whether the noble Lord, to whom complaints had been made on the subject, intended to raise the wages of these men to the same level that obtained in the metropolitan area.

MR. J. H. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)

expressed the hope that the noble Lord would pay special attention to the complaint with respect to motor-cars in Richmond Park.

MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)

supported the claim put forward for an increase of wages to the men and boys employed at Kew Gardens. He did not think anyone would say that the servants under the County Council were more efficient than those employed at Kew, and yet the difference in their wages was very serious indeed. These men had petitioned in the most respectful manner for an increase of pay. If hon. Members did not seize this opportunity of getting a reply from the Department concerned it was difficult to see how the question could be raised. The same difficulty arose here as in other Departments. If the men attempted to raise the question direct they were told that they must approach the Department through their superiors, and if they went to their superiors they were met with rude remarks. [Cries of "Oh!"] Hon. Members did not receive such treatment from Departmental officials, but they were not in the position of humble labourers asking a civil question.

And, it being Midnight, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.