HC Deb 01 June 1916 vol 82 cc2906-8

Notice of the following question appeared on the Paper in the name of Mr. HINDS:

73. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that there is uncertainty among shopkeepers throughout the country as to whether the Government desires a total suspension of the Bank Holiday on Monday week; and whether he is in a position to make a definite statement thereon?


This question was covered by the statement of the Prime Minister yesterday, but may I ask, as there is a good deal of uncertainty prevailing as to whether the statement extends to the whole country or only to the munition areas, and if the Proclamation suspends the Shop and Holidays Acts—


The hon. Gentleman is asking a series of questions which are not on the Paper.


They arise out of the question.


The answer to that question has not yet been given, and the hon. Member should wait until it has.


My answer was to refer to the statement made by the Prime Minister yesterday, but on the particular points which the hon. Member raises now, and which I know are of great importance to the shopkeepers, if he will submit them to me in writing I will write him a letter which will be published and which will give guidance to the shopkeepers.


(by Private Notice): I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the statement made by the Prime Minister with regard to the postponement of the Whitsuntide Bank Holiday will in any way affect the holiday announced to be given on 26th June to workmen in His Majesty's dockyards?


Admiralty employés in the Royal dockyards and naval establishments are entitled to four holidays a year with pay, these being, normally, Christmas Day, Good Friday, the King's birthday, and the August Bank Holiday. Between now and August, therefore, one of these is due, namely, the holiday in celebration of the King's birthday, and I have already stated that this will be taken on 26th June.

In view, however, of the appeal now made for the postponement of all holidays till after July, the Board have decided that it is desirable to postpone this holiday, and have approved the following alternative plan: In all the Royal dockyards and naval establishments the August Bank Holiday will be treated, according to established custom, as a holiday with pay. The day following, Tuesday, 8th August, will also be a holiday with pay, in lieu of 26th June. Men called upon to work for emergency purposes on either Monday, 7th August, or Tuesday, 8th August, will receive the additional pay prescribed for work upon any of the four holidays, with pay already mentioned. On 26th June, of course, pay will be at the ordinary rates.

So loyal and cheerful has been the service rendered since the outbreak of hostilities by the employés generally in the Royal yards that the Board have the most complete confidence that their employés will fall in with the arrangement with the utmost readiness.