87. Mr. NUGENT
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that about 750 members of the clerical staff, comprising stationmasters, agents, and clerks, of the Great Southern and Western Railway are being deprived of the full advantage of the war bonus of 7s. per week authorised by the Government as a result of the State control of the Irish railways by the deduction from the war bonus payments of permanent salary increases accorded to the staff under the terms of the salary scales instituted as the result of a movement for improved service conditions initiated by a memorial sent by the staff to the directors of the company in November, 1913; and whether, as unrest exists among the men affected and efforts made by representatives of the staff to adjust the matter with the company have 392 been unavailing, and, further, as it is being represented to the men in Ireland that the responsibility for these deductions rests with the Board of Trade, he will give such instructions as will result in the men being placed, in respect of assistance to meet the increased cost of living, in the same position as that occupied by other employés on the Great Southern and Western Railway, and on other Irish lines?
It is for the individual railway companies to arrange with their clerical staffs the matter referred to. I am, however, making inquiries on the subject, and I will communicate with the hon. Gentleman as soon as I am in a position to do so.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a deputation of the staff of the Great Southern and Western Railway waited upon the general manager on the 10th ult., and that the same complaint that has been made by their railway clerks has already been agreed in the case of engine drivers in Ireland?
§ 91. Mr. WHITTY
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that eight carpenters working on the permanent way of the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) are only receiving 2s. per week war bonus instead of the 7s. promised by the Government; and will he see that these men, whose headquarters are at Dundalk, are paid the extra 5s-with arrears from 16th December, 1916?
I am asking for the-railway company's observations on this matter, and I will communicate with the hon. Gentleman on receipt of their reply.