§ 57. Mr. JOHN WARD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has any knowledge of the importation of labour to Rosyth from the Hebrides and the North of Scotland; what are the statements now made to workmen by his officers 1430 in Labour Exchanges as to the rates of wages paid to navvies on these Government works; why his Department continue to use their influence to secure a supply of cheap labour for these works; and will he produce the official notice now posted in Labour Exchanges relating to the wages paid to navvies on this Government contract?
There is no foundation for the suggestion that the Board of Trade have, at any time, used their influence to secure a supply of cheap labour for these works. I am informed that workmen have been brought to Rosyth from the Hebrides and the North of Scotland by representatives of the contractors, but that this has taken place independently and without the assistance of the Labour Exchanges. Applicants at Labour Exchanges, for employment at Rosyth, are informed that the minimum wage paid is 5½d. an hour, and they are sometimes told that a higher rate may be earned by good workmen. I understand that very few Labour Exchanges exhibit any notice with regard to vacancies at Rosyth, but I am sending to my hon. Friend copy of a notice which has been exhibited at a few London Exchanges containing reference to the demand for navvies in Scotland.