HC Deb 30 October 1906 vol 163 cc892-3
MR. CHIOZZA MONEY (Paddington, N.)

I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether his attention has been directed to the fact that, according to the Report of the Official Publications Committee, the Savings Bank Department obtained the permission of the Treasury to do its own printing instead of putting it out to private contract, with the result that they have succeeded in undertaking their printing more economically than when it was contracted for; whether he is aware that some of the official printing now put out to contract is carried out by irregularly paid workmen who are compelled to wait about in the public thoroughfares on the chance of a job; and whether, under the circumstances, he will consider the advisability of saving money and insuring the regular employment of workmen by establishing a Government printing department.


The Answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. I am informed that one firm of Government printers are compelled to employ irregularly paid workmen in addition to their regular staff, because the work entrusted to them is generally of an urgent character and varies largely in amount. Those additional workmen are paid at "piece-work" rates and if my information is correct even men who are in regular work elsewhere are eager to obtain this casual employment. With regard to the last part of my hon. friend's Question it is hardly necessary for me to say that the recommendations of the Select Committee are now engaging the attention of the Government.


The information I have received is that the men are paid so irregularly that sometimes they get only a few shillings a week.


That is not my information.