§ 89. Mr. HODGE
asked the hon. Member for St. George's-in-the-East, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether the written undertaking that is signed by firms invited to tender for contract is to the effect that the Fair-Wages Clause will be observed in its entirety as respects all the workmen employed, or whether it only applies to the workmen who would be employed on the contract; and whether consideration has been given to the fact that to invite an unfair firm to tender, even with such an undertaking, is not in harmony with the spirit of speeches made by the President of the Board of Trade in this House, and that to refuse to invite a firm to tender unless it is already a fair firm is the only way calculated to make the administration of the Fair-Wages Clause a success?
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD BENN
In these matters the First Commissioner is bound by the terms of the Fair-Wages Resolution, which applies to workmen employed on Government contracts and not to other workmen in the employ of the contractors. The First Commissioner would refer to the statement of his predecessor on this matter made in this House on the 10th of March, 1909, which indicates the practice of the Department. It should, however, be understood that the fact that a firm is a notoriously bad employer would be considered in connection with the question whether it should or should not be admitted to tender.