Mr. TYSON WILSON
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that when the question of the Fair-Wage Clause in Government contracts was discussed in this House in 1909 the President of the Board of Trade stated that it would, however, not be the practice of Government Departments to keep on their list of contractors firms who obeyed the letter of the clause by paying recognised rates on Government contracts, but who 952 were proved to be notoriously bad employers in other directions; and whether, in view of this declaration made on behalf of the Government, he will have the Fair-Wage Clause administered by his Department in consonance with such declaration?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I am aware of the statement quoted by the hon. Member, and so far as practicable the Fair-Wages Clauses are administered by the Admiralty in accordance therewith. The question of the wages paid by a firm for private work can only come before the Admiralty for consideration when determining the suitability of a firm for admission to, or retention on, the list of contractors.
§ Mr. CLYNES
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, in any case where inquiry is being made of a specified complaint against an employer, the inquiry extends to matters that would prove whether the employer was notoriously bad in other directions?
§ Mr. McKENNA
Oh, yes; we have not infrequently both refused to admit a firm to the list of Admiralty contractors and have on other occasions struck off firms because they had been notoriously bad employers.