HC Deb 30 November 1937 vol 329 c1873
41. Mr. Price

asked the right hon. and gallant Member for Rye, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, whether they have considered an application of representatives of their employés in the Forest of Dean for an increase of wages to meet the rise in the cost of living; and what decision they have come to in the matter?

Colonel Ropner

I have been asked to reply. The rate of wages of Forestry Commission employés was already under consideration when an application for an increase was received in December last. I n April last the standard rate was raised. Applications for a further increase have recently been received, but the Commissioners do not at present propose to make a further increase.

Mr. Price

Is the hon. and gallant Member aware that certain classes of agricultural labourers are paid 39s. and 40s. a week in that same district, and that forestry work is often very special, skilled work; and will he not at least consider bringing the wages of the forestry workers up to the level of the special classes of agricultural labourers?

Colonel Ropner

I think the hon. Member is misinformed. The Forest of Dean lies in the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire, and the standard rates of pay for the lowest grade of forest workers are considerably above the agricultural wages rates for those counties.

Mr. Thorne

If the Forestry Commission have come to a deadlock, are they prepared to submit the case for conciliation and arbitration if an application is made to that effect?

Colonel Ropner

I am not aware of any deadlock.