HC Deb 04 February 1908 vol 183 cc703-4

To ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office, what number of men have had their wages reduced at the Royal Gunpowder Factory at Waltham Abbey during the last two years, and of this number how many were married men; and whether he will grant a Return showing the amount of such reduction, the number of men affected by it, and the length of their service.

(Answered by Mr. Buchanan.) Of the 708 employees (men, women, and boys) employed at the Royal Gunpowder Factory, Waltham Abbey, at the end of January, 1908, 114 have had their wages

Strength on. Volunteer Officers. Volunteers (Noncommissioned Officers and Men.) Total.
1st October, 1905 8,772 241,347 250,119
1st January, 1906 8,722 230,434 239,156
1st October, 1907 8,735 244,589 253,324
1st January, 1908 8,701 228,613 237,314

reduced during the last two years. This number includes forty-four men whose total earnings have been reduced, but whose hourly rating has been increased and whose hours of work have been reduced from about sixty-six hours to forty-eight hours a week. The reduction in other cases is chiefly owing to the men being employed on less highly paid work to avoid the necessity of discharging them. The total average weekly reduction in wages has been £24 17s. 5d., of which £13 19s. 5d. is in respect of the forty-four men above-mentioned. As against these reductions, 155 employees have had their wages increased during the same period, the total weekly increase amounting to £19 2s. 2d., of which only £1 13s. 8d. is fur automatic increases, the remainder, £17 8s. 6d., being pure increase of wages. No statistics as regards marriage are available; and a statement as to the length of service of each individual concerned would take a little time to prepare, but could be furnished if the hon. and gallant Member presses for it.