HC Deb 29 January 1930 vol 234 cc971-2
14. Captain W. G. HALL

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that the decision to standardise the six days' leave with pay by closing the Royal Dockyards for a week each August has caused dissatisfaction; and, if the decision continues to stand, if he will state what the position of an employé not entitled to the leave will be during the week the Royal yards are closed?


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether it is proposed to close all the dockyards during the next August bank holiday week in order that employés may take their week's holiday with pay at the same time; and whether, owing to the diversity of opinion, before any decision on this matter is reached a vote will be taken of the men concerned?


After full consideration of the representations on behalf of the men concerned put forward through the machinery of the Industrial (Whitley) Council, the Board have decided, in the interests of economy and efficiency, to grant the six days' leave with pay in Admiralty industrial establishments by closing each of them for a week during the usual holiday period. The actual week to be adopted in each case, and other matters arising out of this decision, will be discussed at further meetings of the council, and the Admiralty do not propose to adopt any other method of ascertaining and discussing the views of the men than that provided by this machinery.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that on this point the Whitley Council has not represented the views of the men? Surely, if a week's holiday is to be given, the convenience of the men in relation to the holidays of their children should be consulted?


We have to consider the most economic and efficient way of carrying out the general decision of the Government in this matter.

Captain HALL

May I ask if this decision is going to apply to the staff at the Admiralty, and why it is, when economies are necessary, that the workers have always to suffer?


I do not quite follow the question of the hon. and gallant Member with regard to the Admiralty staff; I do not know whether he means the civil staff at the dockyards or at the central office in London. There is no need to follow the same practice in regard to the central staff, because you do not get the same difficulty of the on costs in industry. That is the governing factor in this decision. As regards the latter part of the supplementary question, I should have thought that the actions of the Government show that we do take into consideration the case of the workers.