121. Sir H. DALZIEL
asked the Minister of Munitions whether he has received a communication, signed on behalf of the 1723 etc., engaged in the controlled establishments of Kirkcaldy and district, complaining that after having been granted a penny an hour on time rates to start on 22nd September, this concession has now been annulled and replaced with a three-farthing increase, a sum which is much below the amount paid in other districts on the East Coast of Scotland; and if he can give any reason why they should not be placed on the same rates?
The PARLIAMENTARY (MILITARY) SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of MUNITIONS (Mr. Primrose)
I have received the communication referred to by my right hon. Friend. It is understood that the offer of one penny per hour increase made by the employers was made on the assumption that this corresponded to the increase recently granted by the Committee on Production to members of the Amalagamated Society of Engineers on the Tyne and Clyde. It was, however, discovered that three-farthings per hour, in fact, represented this advance, and the employers amended their original offer. It appears that this three-farthings taken with the penny advance previously granted to the men gives them the same increase as has been given in other districts, both as regards the amount of the present advance and as regards the total advance given since the outbreak of war.
'I should add that rates varied from district to district before the War, so that the equal advances given during the War have not changed the relative levels.