HC Deb 01 July 1937 vol 325 cc2117-9
1. Mr. Lyons

asked the Minister of Labour the average weekly wage in terms of British currency paid, as at the latest convenient date this year, to male hosiery and artificial-silk workers, respectively, in Japan; the amount of maintenance and other deductions therefrom; and the comparable wages in this country at a similar date?

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown)

As the reply is long, and includes a number of figures, I will, if I may, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Lyons

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in view of the great disparity between these figures, the facts which he is going to circulate will be brought to the notice of the Import Duties Advisory Committees?

Mr. Brown

The hon. and learned Member had better wait and see the statement. I have given all the information I can.

Mr. T. Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman give similar figures in respect of Indian workers?

Mr. Brown

If a question is addressed to me, I will try to get the information.

Following is the reply:

According to statistics issued by the Japanese Ministry of Commerce and Industry, based on returns obtained from Chambers of Commerce in various districts, the average daily earnings, at March, 1937, of male hosiery workers in Japan were 1.28 yen, and those of male artificial-silk yarn spinners were 1.25 yen. These earnings, at the current rate of exchange, are equivalent to about 1s. 6d. and 1s. 5½d. a day, respectively. Corresponding figures are not given for other classes of male workers employed in the artificial-silk industry. The statistics are stated to relate to workers of average skill in selected undertakings, excluding (a) apprentices and learners, and (b) persons employed under special conditions and in receipt of exceptionally high or exceptionally low wages. They are further stated to be inclusive of overtime and night-work payments, bonuses for quality of work or output, and allowances in respect of food or the value of food where this is provided; but not to include seasonal gifts, payments made during unemployment or sickness, discharge and retirement allowances, clothing, lodging, etc., allowances, or other contributions towards the living expenses of the workers, apart from food and food allowances. Statistics relating to average earnings in the hosiery and artificial-silk industries are also published by the Bank of Japan, on the basis of returns obtained from employers. In February, 1937, the latest date for which figures are at present in my possession, the average daily earnings, as shown by these statistics, for male operatives, excluding apprentices and learners, were 1.441 yen in the hosiery industry and 1.313 yen in the artificial-silk industry (equivalent, at the current rates of exchange, to about 1s. 8d. and 1s. 6½d. respectively). These figures are stated to include all allowances, other than yearly or half-yearly bonuses. I am not in possession of information respecting average weekly earnings in Japan.

For Great Britain the latest official inquiry into average earnings in these industries relates to the week ended 12th October, 1935. The average weekly earnings of all classes of male workers (skilled and unskilled) in Great Britain and Northern Ireland shown by the results of that inquiry, were as follow:

Men (21 years and over). Youths and Boys.
s. d. s. d.
Hoisery manufacture 72 3 26 1
Artificial-silk yarn manufacture 67 3 39 11
Silk throwing, spinning and weaving, and artificial-silk-weaving 66 10 30 8

Since October, 1935, there has been increases in the rates of wages of some of the workpeople in these industries.

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