HC Deb 07 October 1912 vol 42 cc149-50

I beg to move, "That this House do now adjourn."


I beg to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board j of Trade, whom I see present, an important question about a matter of considerable interest in a portion of the country which: I have the honour to represent: Whether 'his Department is aware that there is a very serious strike going on at Rosyth; if so, what steps his Department have taken, or intend to take, to bring that dispute to a speedy conclusion; further, whether, in considering the matter, the Government I have come to the conclusion that the spirit of the Fair-Wages' Resolution is being respected?

I have no doubt that the question of the Pair-Wages' Resolution was brought under the notice of one or more of the Government Departments when contracts were given out, and as this is a very serious matter I hope that the Government will be able to give me some assurance on the subject. I apologise for not having given notice to my hon. Friend, but it was in expectation of another matter coming on that I did not consider it necessary to do so to-night. I have no doubt he is fully aware of the facts of the situation, and that it is a very serious one, both in regard to the delay of the Government work, and secondly in regard to the modest demand that the men have put forward. Their demand is that they should be paid sixpence per hour, a very modest demand, which I think the Government could not seriously oppose, and I hope therefore he may be able to give me some assurance that he has satisfied himself that the contractors are justified in making the refusal. I hope he will be able to tell me that the Government are alive to the importance of the matter and intend to take immediate steps to satisfy the men and bring the unhappy dispute to a close.


I would like to support the appeal which has been made by my right hon. Friend (Sir H. Dalziel), and I wish to mention the question of housing accommodation. I understood it would probably be the Admiralty we should have to call to book on this matter. I should like to ask what is the Government's view with regard to the housing accommodation and the provision for hospital treatment 1 It is a hazardous occupation, and one of the most elementary duties of employers is to see to the housing of the workpeople and make provision in case of accidents. The Government seem to have failed in that very elementary duty. I mention that to supplement and emphasise the points raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kirkcaldy Burghs.


My right hon. Friend has not given me any notice of this question.


I assumed that this Department, being a live Department, would have been watching this matter. We all thought that another question was coming on.


I hope that all the Departments of the Government are alive, but they are not always ready to answer questions without notice. The question is down to be put to the Department tomorrow, and it will be answered in due course. We have not yet got all the information we require to answer this Question, and I cannot give any further reply than that. The necessary information is not in my hands at the moment, and therefore I am not able to answer my hon. Friend's question in detail.

Question put, and agreed to.

Adjourned at Nine minutes after Eleven o'clock.