§ Sir CLEMENT KINLOCH-COOKE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will inform the House what is the maximum wage paid to established sawyers in Devonport Dockyard; whether the limit has varied during the last twenty years; if so, at what periods and to what extent; how these variations compare with similar variations in the maximum pay of the established skilled labourers; and whether he will consider, as a matter of efficiency, the possibility and advisability of increasing the maximum wage of sawyers in the same manner as in the case of other kinds of work in the yard?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The maximum rate of wages for established sawyers is 27s. a week; five men of this grade are borne at Devonport; there has been no increase in the maximum rate since 1892; in the same period the maximum rate for established skilled labourers has been increased from 25s. to 26s. 6d. a week. A request from the workmen affected for an increase of pay has recently been under consideration in connection with the petitions from various grades of employés in His Majesty's dockyards, and a reply will shortly be made to the petitioners.
§ Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
Does the right hon. Gentleman not think the time has arrived when some attention should be given to this matter?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I have stated that a petition has been received from the workmen. That is being dealt with, and a reply will be given in due course. I do not wish to anticipate that reply, or to say anything which would indicate what the nature of the reply is going to be.
§ Mr. JOHN WARD
Could the right hon. Gentleman indicate whether the wages paid to the sawyers directly employed by his Department in Devonport Dockyard compare favourably with those paid to sawyers employed by the contractors?