§ 54. Mr. ANDERSON
asked the Minister of Munitions whether his attention has been called to the case of three women charged at the Cardiff Munitions Tribunal with absenting themselves from a controlled establishment without leave; whether he is aware that it was stated in evidence that the women were paid 8s. a week; and whether he will take steps to redeem in this instance the pledges of his Department to establish a minimum of £1 a week for women in controlled establishments?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of MUNITIONS (Dr. Addison)
My right hon. Friend's attention had been called to this case, and inquiries have been made into it, and are being followed up, with a view to seeing whether an immediate improvement in wages cannot be effected under the provisions of the Fair-Wages Clause. The general question whether the recent Order as to the wages of women and girls employed on munitions work of a class not 1121 recognised as men's work should be applied to controlled establishments in the trade concerned is now under consideration by the special Arbitration Tribunal.
§ Mr. ANDERSON
Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that there is a big difference between 8s. and 20s. a week, and does he not think it is absolutely unfair that women who are getting 8s. a week, which, judged by pre-war prices, is only worth 5s. or 6s., should be legally debarred under a special Act of Parliament from leaving their employment in order to go to another place where they can get better wages?
§ Dr. ADDISON
The hon. Member knows very well what the views of the Ministry are. The only question is whether this is properly applicable to this particular trade. If it is not, we have no power in the matter.
§ Dr. ADDISON
The Ministry of Munitions cannot go about finding work for people on account of such cases.