§ SIR FRANCIS CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
To ask the First Lord of the Admiralty what is the present procedure of the Admiralty to secure a reasonable standard of wages, hours, and conditions of employment in respect of unorganised labour indirectly employed by sub-contracting of any portion of work to carry out Admiralty contracts; whether he has considered the principle adopted in a Standing Order made by the Sheffield City Council, on 10th April, 1907, that, in municipal contracts ill respect of organised trades, the standard wages, hours, and conditions as generally recognised by the trade unions and the employers should be enforced, but that in respect of unorganised workers, where there are no such recognised standards, the council will itself prescribe reasonable standards of wages, hours, and conditions of employment in respect of any such subcontracted work under the municipal contracts; and whether the Admiralty, in offering contracts in the carrying out of which unorganised labour is employed by sub-contracting or otherwise, will adopt this principle and prescribe the rates of wages, hours of labour, and conditions of employment.
(Answered by Mr. McKenna.) The whole subject has recently been under the investigation of the Fair Wages Committee, whose Report will shortly be in the hands of hon. Members and will receive the careful consideration of His Majesty's Government.