§ MR. SEAVERNS (Lambeth, Brixton)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State 770 for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that carpenters brought from Aylesbury are being employed by the contractors now building an addition to His Majesty's prison on Brixton Hill, and are being paid wages substantially lower than those paid to London carpenters; whether the contract provides that the wages current in London should be paid; and, if so, what action he proposes to take in the matter.
§ * THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. GLADSTONE, Leeds, W.)
I have made inquiry, and find that the contract in question, like other contracts made by the Prison Commissioners, requires that the wages shall not be less than the rates current for competent men in the district. The carpenters employed are actually being paid either the union rate or more. One apprentice and three improvers who came from Aylesbury are also employed; but I understand it is claimed that the trades union rates do not apply to improvers for twelve months after they have completed their apprenticeship. The Prison Commissioners report that the terms of the contract are being observed, and that no complaint has been made to them, and on the information at present before me I can see no reason for my taking any action.