HC Deb 09 March 1938 vol 332 cc1873-4
20. Captain Plugge

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that the wages of British chargemen in His Majesty's dockyard at Hong Kong at the present time, with the dollar reckoned at 1s. 3d., amount to, approximately, 64s. per week, which is less than the lowest rated mechanic in the home dockyards; that foreign service and quarters allowances which they receive are quite inadequate to meet the great increase in the local cost of living and rents resulting from the recent large incursion of refugees into Hong Kong; and whether, in these circumstances, steps can be taken to review the pay and allowances of these British chargemen?

Mr. Shakespeare

My hon. and gallant Friend will, of course, be aware that the total emoluments at present received by chargemen of trades at Hong Kong are considerably in excess of the figure which he mentions. Owing to the differing standards and conditions, it is difficult to establish and maintain a direct relationship between home yard rates of pay and the sterling equivalent of the comparable Hong Kong rates. I am, however, aware of the price fluctuations resulting from the recent incursion of refugees into the Colony, and consideration is being given to the possibility of a temporary increase in the emoluments of agreement workmen, among other grades, at Hong Kong, to meet this situation.