HC Deb 26 February 1912 vol 34 cc1001-2

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention had been called to Standing Order 184a of the House of Commons, which imposed upon the promoters of every Bill for the construction of works the duty of providing for the proper housing and treatment of cases of sickness and accident, including accommodation for dealing with infectious diseases, amongst the workmen who might be employed upon such works; and whether his Department were prepared to undertake a similar responsibility for works carried out under his Department?

CIVIL LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Lambert)

The Standing Order referred to lays down the decision of the House for the guidance of its Committees. The Admiralty, being a public Department, is under the direction and control of the House itself, and the House would certainly express its displeasure if it were found that the conditions of any labourers executing a contract for which the Admiralty was responsible were injurious to their health or safety, or deficient in reasonable and proper precautions. The facts, however, as my hon. Friend will, I am sure, agree, would have to be proved in each particular case.


Am I to understand that the Admiralty place themselves above the orders of the House and entirely outside the ordinary law with reference to these matters?


I do not think that that inference can be drawn from the answer I gave.


What other inference can one draw from the answer?