HC Deb 06 July 1908 vol 191 cc1228-9
MR. FELL (Great Yarmouth)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if any workmen have been discharged from Woolwich Arsenal since 1st January last, and, if so, how many; and whether any more are to be discharged during the remainder of the year.


Excluding boys whom it has been found impossible to engage as men on reaching the age of twenty-one, thirty men have been discharged (all at their own request) during the period 4th January, 1908, to 27th June, 1908, from the factories for which a minimum establishment was fixed. In addition, during the same period, forty-five men have been discharged, as is usual during the summer months, from the Building Works Department, for which no minimum was fixed. No men have been discharged on reduction; and it is not anticipated that any men will be so discharged during the remainder of the year from the factories for which a minimum establishment has been fixed, except at their own request, or in cases where they have completed some special work for which they were specially engaged.


May I ask whether, when the numbers of workmen are increased, favourable consideration will be given to the claims of the men who have been discharged?


I should think wherever that can be done it will be done. We are very reluctant to discharge anybody, and those who are discharged will have the first chance.