§ 73. Mr. G. GRIFFITHS
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that a contractor doing work for his Department, in the Havercroft parish of Hemsworth, has paid a night watchman 6s. for working a shift of 15 hours, the recognised wages in this district being 9½d. per hour for this kind of work; and what action he proposes to take to deal with this matter?
§ The ASSISTANT POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Sir Ernest Bennett)
I am aware that the wages paid to a night watchman by the contractor referred to are substantially as given by the hon. Member; but the hourly rates quoted are not recognised for night watchmen's work in the civil engineering industry in the district concerned. I have already had inquiry made into the matter, and as there is no evidence that there has been any contravention of the fair wages resolution, no further action appears to be necessary.
§ Mr. GRIFFITHS
Is it not a fact that the work which this night watchman did for the contractor is exactly the same kind of work as was done by the night watchman in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the Hemsworth Urban Council and in the Hemsworth Rural Council, all of which surround the Havercroft parish, and, therefore, will not the Postmaster-General issue instructions that this contractor must not have other fellows black-legging for him?
§ Mr. PALING
As there have been a number of complaints in regard to contracts made by the Post Office, is it not time that some inquiry was made as to whether contractors are fulfilling their obligations under the fair wages clause?
§ Sir E. BENNETT
We satisfy ourselves in the case of every contract that the contractor observes the conditions of the fair wages clause.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Is the Assistant Postmaster-General aware that this works out at 4½d. an hour? Do the Post Office regard that us a reasonable interpretation of any fair wages clause?