HC Deb 11 October 1916 vol 86 cc84-5
1. Mr. KING

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Privates Stevens, Harrison, Brown, Parnely, and Welch were sent from the Non-Combatant Corps from Wyke Regis to unload or load, on night duty, the steamships "Normandy" and "Aletta" at Weymouth docks; whether they receive or have, received any pay beyond their military pay for this work; whether he is aware that on or about the same date some twenty men were sent to do similar work at Weymouth docks, namely, Privates Gillingham, Hargreaves, Herring, Tuck, Kitson, Cook, Ingram, Purnell, Soper, Meluish, Silverthorne, Cock, Pinder, Giles, Kemp, Markham, Palk, Curtis, Ham, and Stock, of the 3rd Southern Command, Non-Combatant Corps; whether these men have had any extra pay for this work done on ships belonging to the Great Western Railway Company; and whether every effort is being made to prevent great employers like the railway companies from exploiting military service to obtain underpaid labour?


I am not aware of the precise circumstances in which each of the men mentioned in the question may have been employed, but I will state the general principle. Men of the Non-Combatant Corps have no claim to anything beyond their military pay when engaged on non-combatant Army work. As regards the last part of the question, there is certainly no intention of exploiting the services of men of the Non-Combatant Corps in the manner which my hon. Friend apparently has in mind.


We may understand, then, that the railway company does pay for the services of these men, though that payment is not handed on to the men themselves?


I am not sure that these men are employed by the railway company, but the intention is that at present they are to be employed on war work only.

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