HC Deb 16 June 1913 vol 54 cc27-8

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many women are employed respectively in the colour loft and in the ropery at His Majesty's dockyards; how many vacancies have occurred in these departments respectively during the last twelve months; how many names of widows and orphans are now down on the waiting lists; and will he say, apart from death, what proportion of persons whose names appear on the waiting list may reasonably expect to obtain employment in either of these departments within the next twelve months?


One hundred and forty-six women are employed in the colour lofts of the home yards, and in the roperies, 190. Thirteen vacancies have occurred in the colour lofts in the last twelve months, and fifteen in the roperies. Five hundred and one names of widows and orphans are now on the waiting lists of these departments. I should say, judging by service requirements, that very few indeed of these applicants will secure work. We do our best to meet these poor people, hut it must be obvious to the hon. Member that we cannot find work for them if work does not exist.


Cannot the right hon. Gentleman consider the question of awarding some extra compensation or pension to these poor people instead of holding out the possibility of work which now it appears will never be given?


If they are widows of dockyard men who at death came under our workmen's compensation scheme, they may have had compensation. If they are the widows and orphans of sailors who met their death in the service of the Crown, they may have received allowances. We do our best to find them work, of course, if there is no work we cannot give it to them.