HC Deb 06 December 1906 vol 166 cc1151-2
MR. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)

To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the Commissioners of Public Works, Ireland, have refused to hear complaints from the organisations to which their employees belong unless the complaints are made in the first instance by the individuals affected; and whether, seeing that the wages of the labourers and mechanics employed by the Board of Works, Ireland, are below the market rate, he will have the wages brought up to the trade unions rates prevailing in the respective districts.

(Answered by Mr. McKenna.) The Board of Works inform me that the Answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. The statement contained in the latter part of the Question is misleading. In estimating the wages paid account has to be taken of many important advantages which are enjoyed by men in the public service, but which are not shared by men in private employ. The Board of Works are inquiring into the rates actually paid by other employers, and in any case in which the rates paid to the employees of the Board of Works are below the market rate, after taking into account the special advantages attaching to Government service, the rates paid will be increased accordingly. There may, however, be a few cases of workmen who are not capable of doing a full day's work, but whose services are retained from motives of compassion at less than the full market rate.