HC Deb 30 July 1908 vol 193 cc1729-30
MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)

To ask the First Commissioner of Works whether it was by his authority that an order was issued in March last by which the night watchmen's hours in Greenwich Park were increased from eight to thirteen per night, making ninety-one hours per week without extra pay; and whether, in consequence of objecting to this increase on the ground of its unreasonableness, a watchman of ten years standing has been punished by removal from his position as watchman to that of labourer and debarred from sharing in Sunday duty and over- time; what is the reason for the increase in the working hours; and whether he will make inquiries into the matter with a view to another arrangement being made and the reinstatement of the workman in question.

(Answered by Mr. Harcourt.) The arrangement was made in order to bring the duties of the watchman at Greenwich Park into line with the practice in other parks. Before March last there was no watchman on duty at Greenwich during the earlier night hours after closing time. The hours will vary according to the time of the year. The late watchman was given the option of retaining the post, but declined, preferring to revert to ordinary work at 4s. 6d. a day, which was his pay as a watchman, only that he earned it for seven days a week instead of six days as at present. He is not debarred from overtime or Sunday duty, with extra pay, when it may be required. I see no ground for further action in the matter.