HC Deb 04 May 1915 vol 71 c971

asked the hon. Member for the Saffron Walden Division, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, if a petition was received two months ago from the labourers of the lighting and cleaning department of the Houses of Parliament asking for an advance of wages; and if, in view of the fact that no increase of wages has been given to these men since 1896 and of the increase in the cost of living and the general practice of other employers in giving war bonuses and wages advances owing to the cost of living, the Office of Works will make immediate and substantial additions to the wages of the men in question?

Mr. BECK (Lord of the Treasury)

The petition referred to was received. It is from men who are employed through contractors and not direct by the Office of Works, and the rate of wages paid accordingly depends on the rate ordinarily paid in the trade in the district. As at present advised the First Commissioner is not aware of any recent outside increase which would bring the case under the Fair-Wages Resolution. The grading of this class of labour has presented difficulties in the past and is now being considered by a Committee which it is understood may recommend certain increases although not on grounds connected with the War.