HC Deb 31 March 1925 vol 182 cc1109-11

asked the. Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department what the proportion of our exports to foreign countries and to the British Empire in 1913 and 1924 of raw materials and manufactured goods was, respectively?

Mr. A. M. SAMUEL (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

The answer contains a table of figures, and the hon. Member will perhaps allow me to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer.

and if he will take every precaution to see that the persons employed at the British Empire Exhibition of 1925 will receive wages that will allow them a proper standard of living?


I have no particulars in regard to the wages paid to employés at the British Empire Exhibition in 1924. I have no control over the rates of wages paid at the British Empire Exhibition, but if any case of hardship is brought to my notice by the hon. and gallant Member I will make it my business to take it up with the exhibition authorities.


Is it not desirable, since this Empire Exhibition is being held on behalf of Great Britain and the Empire, that decent wages should be paid to those employed in it in order to give a good name not only to the exhibition but to the British Empire?


If the hon. Member will give me any specific cases of wrongful wages I will look into them.


In view of the fact that it was definitely proved that labourers were receiving as low as 13s. per week plus bonus, rising to 17s., is it not better to inquire into these matters now before the contracts are let rather than to wait until afterwards when it will be so much more difficult to deal with such points


Perhaps the hon. Member will raise that point in the Debate which is to take place later in the day.