§ 22. Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he has received complaints from the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives that the Granite Boot Company, Mountsorrel, which is executing Government orders, is withholding money due for two months to its workpeople, that it has failed to pay a bonus agreed upon by manufacturers in the trade, that in its employment of boys it has violated the boy labour award, that the wages it pays to women are below the recognised standard; whether he has been informed that this firm definitely declines to negotiate with the representatives of the men's union; whether, in consequence of the failure on the part of the men to get this firm to accept the responsibilities of Government contractors, men have left their work; whether the trade union has requested the War Office to intervene; and what has been the result?
I have received complaints of the nature referred to, and have made inquiry of the firm, who assure me that they are observing the rates and conditions laid down in the "Statement of wages," dated 3rd March last, as regards Government orders. In view, however, of the conflict of evidence on this point. I have ordered an inspection to be made, and will inform the hon. Member of the-result in due course.