HC Deb 20 April 1910 vol 16 cc2085-6

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that a dispute has existed in the works of Messrs. Varian and Co., Dublin, brush contractors, for now close on six months; whether this firm has refused the offer of arbitration made by the Lord Mayor and corporation of Dublin; whether this firm holds a Government contract; if he is aware that it is alleged that boy labour is employed in the execution of this contract; and whether, in view of the Fair Wages Resolution of this House and his refusal to settle the dispute by arbitration, he will continue this firm on the list of contractors to the Government?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Buxton)

The dispute affecting the firm referred to began in October last, and I understand that the negotiations which have been conducted at the instance of the Lord Mayor of Dublin did not, unfortunately, result in a settlement. I am informed that the firm are contractors to the Board of Public Works, Dublin; if the hon. Member has information that the firm are not complying with the Fair Wages Clause of their contract, perhaps he would communicate with the Department concerned.


Considering the efforts that have been made by the Lord Mayor and Corporation of Dublin to settle this unfortunate dispute, and the refusal of the firm to entertain proposals for arbitration, does the right hon. Gentleman consider that this is a firm to which Government contracts should be given. I would also ask whether this firm is not carrying out Government contracts at lower wages than those recognised in the district, and if the right hon. Gentleman will take action to stop that?


That raises the question whether the Fair Wages Clause is, or is not, carried out. That is not within my discretion. It is within the discretion of the Board of Works in Dublin. If the hon. Member would communicate with I them and get further information I shall be glad to consider it.