HC Deb 15 June 1915 vol 72 cc527-8

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether Messrs. Kearley and W. F. Blay, Limited, are carrying out War Office contracts at the works of Messrs. Vickers, Crayford; whether he is aware that, in connection with these contracts, Royal Engineers are engaged on building work and that local workmen connected with the building trade have applied for and been refused employment; and whether he will have inquiries made into the matter and take steps to ensure that soldiers are not employed on civilian work whilst local civilian workmen are out of employment?


asker the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether, in connection with contracts being carried out at the works of Messrs. Vickers, at Crayford, Kent, men serving with the Royal Engineers are engaged by the firms concerned on building work to the exclusion of civilian workmen who are unemployed; and, if so, whether he proposes to take action to ensure that no civilian workman is displaced by a soldier?


Some Royal Engineers were, as an emergency measure, sent to Crayford for a limited period owing to difficulties in securing workmen for building construction. There has been a great deal of such work in progress in the neighbourhood, and I understand that the available resources of labour were fully utilised by the contractors before the Royal Engineers were asked for. There is no intention of using troops on work of this kind under ordinary circumstances to the exclusion of civilian workmen.