56. Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware of the terms of the maintenance contracts made by the Board of Works with contractors in Glasgow, whereby the contractor is to supply labour in day work in consideration of a payment by the Commissioners of His 1827 Majesty's Works and Public Buildings of the amount actually paid in wages to the men with an addition of 6¼ per cent. in respect of services and expenses; whether in the case of one contractor in Glasgow the wages amount roughly to £2,000 per year, so that the 6¼ per cent. out of which the contractor must pay workmen's compensation, third-party risk insurance, and the maintenance of the necessary scaffolding, tackle, tools, etc., amounts to about £125 per year; whether the insurance contributions which, under the Act, must be paid by the contractor, amount to a total of about £1 per week or £50 per annum, which represents the whole of the profit on the contract; whether the Board of Works have submitted the whole case of the effect of the Act on these special contracts to the Treasury, and the Treasury have refused to grant permission to the Board of Works to grant relief to the contractors by varying existing contracts, or otherwise; and whether, in view of the fact that the contract has been specifically framed in order to relieve the contractor of any risk of a rise in wages or in the cost of labour, and that the Government has by the National Insurance Act materially varied the conditions with a special view to which the contract was framed, the Treasury will sanction such variation of the contract as in the opinion of the Board of Works the equities of the case may demand?
§ 57. Mr. JAMES HOGGE
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware of the maintenance contracts made by the Board of Works with contractors in Edinburgh; and of the effect upon the contractors of the addition of the insurance contributions upon their profits; and what action he proposes to take?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The circumstances referred to have been brought to my notice, but I fear I am not yet in a position to make any statement with regard to them.