HC Deb 13 March 1906 vol 153 cc1103-4

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total increase of wages which he anticipates will be payable to employees of the Admiralty, War Office, Civil and Revenue Departments, respectively, in consequence of the decision of His Majesty's Government to pay in all cases the local trade union rate of wages; and whether a similar condition will be embodied in all Government contracts in future.


I cannot accept the suggestion in the Question as an adequate or accurate statement of the policy of the Government, which was fully explained by the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretary of State for War, in reply to a deputation which waited upon them on the 22nd ulto., and in this House by my right hon. friend the Member for Dundee in his speech upon the Navy Estimates on the 1st inst. † I am not at present in a position to estimate the additional charge (if any) which the adoption of that policy will impose upon the Exchequer. The question of what modification (if any) is needed in the form of Government contracts is under consideration.


Am I to understand that the Treasury † See (4) Debates, clii, 1374–5. sanctioned this proposal without having any estimate of the cost involved?


They could not have an estimate of the cost involved until they knew the amount of work to be done.