§ 79. Mr. THOMAS
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to a strike of milesmen, whose wages are only 13s. per week and 1s. war bonus, on the Londonderry and 1337 Lough Swilly Railway, which is partly owned by the Irish Board of Works, owing to the refusal of the controlling company to pay the same rate of wages as is paid on the adjoining Midland N. C. C. narrow gauge line, Derry to Strabane; and, in view of the fact that these lines are partly State-owned, and that this is the second strike that has taken place there of late owing to the abnormally low wages paid, whether he will take steps to ensure an amicable settlement of the question at present in dispute?
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I am informed that, the surfacemen having tendered notices in support of a claim for an increase of wages, an interview between their representatives and the directors of the company took place, at which the company intimated that the men would be given the same pay and conditions as existed on the Donegal Railway, which is partly owned by the Midland Railway Company. This decision was, apparently, not accepted, and a stoppage of work took place on the part of certain of the men. I will inquire whether the wages and conditions on the Donegal Line are the same as those on the Midland Company's line from Strabane to Londonderry, to which my hon. Friend refers. Part of the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway is owned by the Board of Works, and that portion is worked by the railway company under an agreement with that body, but I understand that the Board of Works have no control over the conditions of service.