HC Deb 20 December 1915 vol 77 cc36-7
94. Mr. R. LAMBERT

asked whether some thousands of men who have been employed as volunteers doing ordnance work at Didcot have now ceased to be employed for this purpose and have been replaced by provisional battalions of Territorials who have enlisted for national defence at Army rates and at the expense of the country; and whether he will give the reasons for this change?


In order to push forward work systematically it is necessary to have a regular supply of daily labour constant as far as possible in amount. It is true, as my hon. Friend states, that volunteers have been employed. This has been chiefly at week-ends, and they have rendered most valuable assistance, but it has been found that a more regular supply of labour is necessary and the Territorial Force Garrison Battalions have consequently been drawn upon. If it is found that additional assistance is required the services of the volunteers will be gladly accepted As regards the question of expense, it would not be economical nor in the military interest to neglect the necessary work during mid-week period in order to carry it out by unpaid labour during the week-end period.