§ 7. Mr. HOHLER
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has received petitions from the men employed in the Bermuda Dockyard asking that, in view of the prolongation of the War, they may be relieved and sent home; and, if so, will he take steps to grant their request?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
A petition of the nature referred to in my hon. and learned Friend's question was received some three months ago from a number of dockyard workmen who are serving at Bermuda under agreement from the home dockyards for the duration of the War. The petition was fully considered, and it was decided, having regard to all the circumstances, that there were not sufficient grounds for relieving the men concerned from their 1691 agreement. It was, however, arranged for consideration to be given in any cases in which the circumstances were such as to afford special grounds for the premature return of any of these men.
I may add that the workmen in question have been in receipt of extra pay—7s. in the case of married men, and 3s. 6d. in the case of unmarried men—additional to the usual foreign service allowance, which was introduced in February, 1916, on the understanding that the recipients would be agreeable to serve at Bermuda for the duration of the War. They are also paid all home-yard war increases in addition to home-yard rates, foreign service allowance, and house allowance; also the 12 per cent.