HC Deb 28 September 1909 vol 11 cc1081-2

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he was aware that the boilermakers and other workmen at the Sheerness Dockyard commenced work at 7 a.m. and left off work for dinner at 12 noon; if it had been brought to his notice that the charge foreman had on several occasions ordered the boilermakers and others at five minutes to twelve noon to work on until 1.30 before having their dinners; if he was aware that in many cases the dinners of the men were brought to the gates at 12 noon, and that unless the men got notice the night before that they would be wanted to work on until 1.30 the following day they could not get their dinners at the gates, which were then taken back; and whether he intended taking any action in the matter?


The dockyard workmen commence work at 7 a.m., and leave off for dinner at noon. It occasionally happens that boilermakers and other workmen are required at short notice to continue at work during the dinner time in connection with urgent jobs, and in these cases time for dinner is allowed as soon as the circumstances will admit. If a shortened time is taken for dinner, the man either stops work at a correspondingly earlier period at the close of the day or is paid for overtime. Such cases—which, as I say, only arise in matters of emergency—do not, however, depend upon the discretion of the chargemen, who merely convey the instructions received from their superior officers. Dinners brought to the dockyard gates are ordinarily permitted to be taken to the men; but if for any reason the dinners are not so brought in, no objection would be raised to the men going to the gate for them.


Is it not a fact that a man cannot do boiler work with advantage for more than four hours without taking some refreshment?