§ 32. Mr. G. TERRELL
asked the Minister of National Service if he can state the number of riveters of military age employed in the Clyde shipyards who lost time on the 1st and 2nd May; whether any of them have been called on to explain before a committee; and whether any of them have had their protection certificates withdrawn?
§ The CIVIL LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Pretyman)
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. It will not be possible to get the information in the first part of the question asked by my hon. Friend without detailed inquiry from each firm. I am informed that the time lost by the shipyard trades on the dates named was small in proportion to the number at work, and I do not propose to institute an inquiry, as it would involve a disproportionate amount of time and labour on the part of the clerical staffs of 2318 the firms and Admiralty Departments concerned. Answers to the second and third parts of the question are in the negative, because the Admiralty time-keeping scheme is only applicable to workers who habitually keep bad time, and not to men absent on these specific dates, although absence on these dates might count in determining whether a man was an habitually bad time-keeper
§ Mr. TERRELL
Is my right hon. Friend unable to give any information about these specific workers? He talked about workers generally. The question relates to rivetters.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I have not any information as to rivetters who are concerned more than others. The information I have is correct, that there was no specially large absence on that day.
§ Mr. BILLING
Is not this a question of principle and not of hours, and under these circumstances would the Admiralty consider the advisability of inquiring into the case whether time is lost purely on a question of principle and not a question of time?
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
We do not inquire into cases where an individual man loses time on a particular day. What we inquire into is when time in habitually lost, and whether a man loses time on a particular day that contributes towards his becoming a habitual time loser. That is really the point.