§ 9. Mr. BARNES
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that a number of workmen at Gibraltar are to be discharged through shortage of work; that a request has been received that some of the work usually taken in hand from October to February shall be anticipated in order to obviate these discharges and at the same time render unnecessary the overtime that has to be worked during that period; and whether he proposes to accede to the request and prevent the distress that will ensue as a result of discharges?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
A number of workmen have recently been discharged from Gibraltar Dockyard on account of a temporary shortage of work. Certain representations have been received on the subject, and arrangements had already been made which will not only obviate further discharges, but will enable most of the local men who have been discharged to be re-entered. It will be understood that the work has to be arranged with regard to the Fleet requirements, and it is not practicable entirely 1891 to avoid variations in the pressure and occasional overtime. I may mention that instructions have been issued that in the event of its becoming necessary at any future date to send home workmen who are serving under agreement at Gibraltar, notice has to be given to such workmen of at least one week for each year of service specified in the agreement, but that in all cases the notice has to be as long as possible, particularly in the case of men who are accompanied by their wives and families.
§ Mr. BARNES
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that some of these men have been sent home within the period specified in the contract, and whether he will arrange that they will receive some money in lieu of what they lose?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
Ten of the men sent home have not completed their agreements. The usual course, unless a man is sent home for misconduct or at his own request, is to give half a week's pay for each month of the unexpired part of the agreement.