HC Deb 26 October 1916 vol 86 cc1277-8

asked the Minister of Munitions whether his attention has been called to the evidence submitted, and the comments made, in the case of two workmen who applied for leaving certificates before the West Wales Munitions Tribunal; whether he is aware that these workmen urged, among other reasons for desiring to leave, that they wished to be employed fully on munitions, inasmuch as at present they are forced by their employers to idle much of their time and being paid per day are paid for work they have not done; that the employers being sub-contractors to a controlled establishment encourage this system because they are paid a percentage on the total expenditure on the work and employ more men than necessary, thereby increasing expenditure and their own profit; whether he is aware that the tribunal found that there was at these works an appreciable amount of avoidable idleness and slackness due to and in part caused by laxity and inefficiency of supervision on the employers part; that the tribunal was further of opinion that contracts on the lines revealed afford unusual opportunities for abuse and even fraud, and that the evidence and allegtions submitted were sufficently grave to warrant a Govrnment inquiry; and what steps it is proposed to take?


My attention had already been called to this matter, and inquiries were made into the men's allegations. I understand that the cases were dismissed by the tribunal. I am informed that the controlled establishment in question had had frequent difficulties in obtaining certain materials, with the result that the sub-contractor's work was delayed. But further inquiries are being made into the whole matter, and I will let my hon. Friend know.