§ MR. BONAR LAW (Camberwell, Dulwich)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the aggregate fall in the amount paid in weekly wages since the 1st May, 1903, in the cases reported to the Board of Trade and regularly published by that Department.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE, Carnarvon Boroughs)
I am having printed with the Votes a statement showing for each of the last ten years and for the first ten months of the present year the net increase or decrease of weekly wages reported to the Board of Trade. As regards the particular period named by the hon. Member I find that in the thirty-two months from May 1903 to the end of 1905 there was a net decrease of £78,000. On the other hand, in the first ten months of the present year there has been a net increase of £43,000 and wages are still rising. During the last ten years there has been a net increase of £209,000 in weekly wages.
The following is the statement referred to in above Question:—
In reply to the hon. Member's Question the following statement shows the computed net increase or decrease per week in the wages of those affected by changes in rates of wages in each of the years 1896 593 to 1905, and for the first ton months of 1906.
|Year.||Computed amount of conge of weekly wages so far as recorded.|
|Net increase per week.||Net decrease per week.|
|1906 (First ten months)||43,037||—|
§ MR. BONAR LAW
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman's reply did not mean that wages were now being paid at a lower rate than in 1903 to the extent of £3,000,000 or £4,000,000 a year.
§ MR. CHIOZZA MONEY (Paddington, N.)
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that daring these years of falling wages the profits assessed to income-tax were always rising.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
Yes, Sir, that is so. There is a further fact. The hon. Gentleman opposite has selected a period of falling trade up to the beginning of the present year; whereas the previous years were years of comparative prosperity.
§ MR. BONAR LAW
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman had not frequently stated that since that date there had been a distinct improvement all round in trade.
§ MR. BOWLES (Lambeth, Norwood)
asked whether this decrease in the aggregate amount of wages paid was accompanied by a large decrease in the number of hours worked.