HC Deb 25 February 1914 vol 58 cc1754-5

asked the Secretary of State for War on what date the labourers employed in the Government Ordnance Factory near Selby, Yorkshire, received an advance of wages of 6d. a week to compensate them for the withdrawal of the three months' half-pay to which they were entitled when sick before the National Insurance Act came into force; whether the last advance of wages which they received was an advance of 1s. 6d. per week granted to them in February, 1913, to date back to 1st. July, 1912; whether this advance of 1s. 6d. was granted to them in order to bring their wages more nearly up to the trade-union rate of wages in the district; whether they were informed, and, if so, how that any part of this advance of 1s. 6d. per week was to compensate them for the withdrawal of their sick pay; and whether the present wages of such Government employés are at a less rate per hour than the trade union rate of wages for labourers in the district?


An advance of 1s. a week was given from 1st April, 1911, of which 6d. was in anticipation of the Insurance Act, but as I explained on the 16th instant, did not involve withdrawal of three months' half-pay. The advance of 1s. 6d. a week given in February, 1913, was granted in accordance with the Fair-Wages Resolution of this House. The fact that compensation had been previously given was made clear by a War Office circular issued in July, 1912. The trade-union rate of wages is not in question, but I am making further inquiry as to the prevailing rates in the district.


Can the hon. Gentleman say whether any intimation was given to these employés that the advance was given in anticipation of the Insurance Act?


I have no reason to think that it was not made known.