HC Deb 10 October 1912 vol 42 c503

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that a complaint has been lodged against the firm of John Lysaght, Limited, Bristol, contractors to the Crown Agents, for not observing the Fair-Wages Clause in the wages paid to their joiners; whether he is aware that the firm in question do not abide by the rules agreed to between the employers and workmen in the trade neither as regards hours, wages, nor overtime rates; and whether he will have careful inquiry made into the matter with a view to securing the due observance of the Fair-Wages Clause?


The Crown Agents have already inquired into this matter. The rules referred to in the question appear to be rules agreed between employers and workmen in the building trade only. I understand that the carpenters and joiners employed by Messrs. Lysaght are kept fully employed winter and summer and are paid for their time wet or dry; and it is not therefore thought, fair to apply to this firm an agreement made for the building trade, in which the condition of continuous employment does not generally exist, whatever may be the case in special instances.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is impossible for firms that pay fair wages to compete successfully with firms of this kind?


I expect that I will have to consult with the hon. Member on the whole matter.