§ 32. Mr. W. BAKER
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, what steps are taken by his Department to see that the provisions of the fair-wages Clause are strictly adhered to by all contractors; whether his attention has been called to a recent 617 case in Bristol in which, as the result of representations, it was found that incorrect rates were being paid and arrears of pay were admitted to be due to some of the men employed on a Government contract; and whether he will take steps to ensure that a close watch will be kept to prevent irregularities?
The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Lieut.-Colonel Sir Vivian Henderson)
In reply to the first part of the question, a fair wages Clause is embodied in all contracts placed by the Department, and if there is reason to believe that any departure from the provisions of the Clause is occurring, an immediate, inspection is made of the wages books of the contractor. In the event of any underpayment being discovered, the contractor is required to pay the arrears of wages due to, the men concerned, and if he fails to do so his name is removed from the Department's list and other Government Departments informed. The reply to the second part of the question is in the affirmative. With reference to the last part of the question, the First Commissioner is satisfied that the procedure outlined provides a reasonable safeguard against irregularties, but he will always be glad to cause inquiries to be made into any ease to which his attention is invited.
§ Mr. BAKER
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that since the previous questions I have received a large number of complaints from men who were employed on this job and who received even less than the figures that were given in the official reply, and will he inquire into all these individual cases?
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
I told the hon. Member that I should be glad to inquire into any case which was brought to my notice. As far as this particular case is concerned, the employer has already agreed to pay up the arrears.