HC Deb 23 January 1918 vol 101 cc964-5
13. Mr. KING

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether many skilled men, boilermakers, riveters, caulkers, drillers, and fitters, have been now for about three months at Portbury, and, having only done navvy labour and being without prospect of the real work for which they went there, many as volunteers, they are discontented; that there are no bathing facilities and yet men are punished for being dirty; that there are complaints as to food and harsh discipline; and what action will be taken to remedy these conditions?


This work is being carried out by personnel of the Inland Waterways and Docks, Royal Engineers. The majority of the men of the trades mentioned are employed at their trades or have been transferred. Owing to shortage of labour, it is possible that a few of the less skilled may have been employed temporarily at other work. I am not aware of complaints as to baths, food, or discipline. Most of the men are in billets. Baths are arranged in their billets; and the bath-house was the first building to be erected at the camp and is now nearing completion. Special attention is given to food, which is under the supervision of an experienced messing officer.


Are further inquiries being made?


Not so far as I know, but, in view of my answer, I do not think that it is necessary