HC Deb 22 March 1907 vol 171 cc1288-9
MR. BARRIE (Londonderry, N.)

To ask the Secretary of State for War how many men will remain at Woolwich when running discharge notices expire; and what were the number employed on 31st March, 1906, and 31st March, 1905, respectively.


To ask the Secretary of State for War how many men have been discharged, or received notices of impending discharge, from the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich during the current month; and whether he is aware that, as a result of recent discharges, very considerable distress exists in Woolwich.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Haldane.) I will answer this and the subsequent Question together. As regards the Army

Total, including Army Ordnance Department. Army Ordnance Department.
Arsenal. Dockyard.
Number of men remaining when running discharge notices expire 16,214 1,073 395
Number employed on 31/3/1906 17,946 1,101 415
Number employed on 31/3/1905 18,585 1,131 426
Number of men discharged or who have received notices of discharge this month 169 10

These figures do not include employees of the principal experimental officer, the Ordnance Research Board, or the War Department chemist. The numbers in these branches do not fluctuate appreciaably. As regards any distress which may exist at Woolwich, much as I regret it, I should not be justified, as I have already informed the House, in retaining men when there is no work on which to employ them. I may mention, however, that, with the view of ascertaining whether it is possible to take any steps to reduce the number of discharges, a conference, consisting of five Members of this House and three representatives of the War Department, has just been appointed to inquire whether any articles not now made in the Ordnance Factories can be appropriately made there, and with the machinery there.