§ 23. Mr. CROSS
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether it is possible for the cloth ordered by his Department to be manufactured, in some cases, by underpaid labour; whether orders are placed by him with contractors who are not the actual manufacturers; and, if so, whether he has any adequate check upon the observation of the Fair Wages Clause by the manufacturers, particularly in cases where the order passes through the hands of one or more agents?
§ Mr. HACKING
Some orders for cotton goods are placed with contractors who are not themselves manufacturers. The contracts contain the Fair Wages Clause, which provides, not only that the contractor shall observe the obligations specified in the Fair Wages Resolution, but that he shall be responsible for the observation of the Fair Wages Clause by sub-contractors. I have received no complaints that the Fair Wages Resolution has been infringed in connection with 656 War Department contracts for cotton goods, but if my hon. Friend has any information which suggests that it is being infringed, I shall be happy to have inquiries made. I am taking the opportunity of calling special attention to the requirements of the Fair Wages Clause in the acceptance of tenders for cotton goods which are being issued by the War Office at the present time.