§ 101. Mr. DEVLIN
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has made any recommendation with regard to a minimum wage for the sweated workers in the linen trade in Belfast; if so, what is the nature of the recommendation; and whether, for purposes of comparison, he will state the average wages earned by the women workers in the linen trade in Belfast and the average wages earned by the women workers in the cotton trade in Manchester and Lancashire?
Under the Trade Boards Act the duty of making recommendations with regard to minimum rates of wages is imposed on the Trade Boards, and not on the Board of Trade. As regards the extension of that Act to the linen trade in Belfast, I can add nothing to the previous answer which I have given on this subject. I am sending to my hon. Friend a copy of Volume I. of the Report of an Inquiry into Earnings and Hours of Labour in 1906, which contains very full information regarding wages in the cotton and linen trades. Since 1906 there has been an increase of 10 per cent. on list prices in the cotton trade, and there have also been increases in wages in the linen trade, particulars of which I am sending to my hon. Friend.