HC Deb 02 January 1913 vol 46 cc518-9
44. Mr. JOWETT

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that so-called unskilled workers who register their names for work at the Swansea Labour Exchange are compelled to enter the Exchange for that purpose through a separate entrance of mean and shabby appearance, to differentiate them from skilled workmen; on whose instructions this distinction between workmen using the Swansea Labour Exchange has been made; whether similar invidious division is made between workmen in other Labour Exchanges; and, if so, which of them?


It is necessary to divide all Labour Exchanges of any considerable size into various departments, and it has usually been found in practice to be for the general convenience both of applicants and staff that a rough distinction should be made between skilled and unskilled occupations. I am not aware of any ground for the suggestion that the entrance to the unskilled department of the Swansea Exchange is not a proper one, but I will inquire into the whole matter.


asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the contract for altering the premises at 25A, Market Place, Nuneaton, for the purposes of a Labour Exchange has been let to a firm of builders who are not paying the standard rate of 8d. per hour to the joiners employed by them; that the firm say they never have paid that rate and that they do not intend to pay it; and whether, under these circumstances, he will cancel the contract and strike the firm off the list of Government contractors?


It had been ascertained that the contractor was paying less than 8d. an hour, but after the 13th December he has paid the correct rate so far as the contract in question is concerned. Steps are being taken for the balance due to be refunded to the workmen.