§ 10. Mr. Price
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware than men living in the Forest of Dean and working in new industries in other parts of Gloucestershire have 2s. a day for omnibus fares deducted from their wages, which vary from 6s. to 9s. according to hours worked, and that when the omnibus arrives late through no fault of their 1477 own further deductions are made; and whether he will take steps to remedy this matter?
§ Mr. E. Brown
The large demand for workers in the Gloucester area has provided opportunities of employment for men available in the Forest of Dean, which I understand has been much welcomed by the men. To suit the domestic circumstances of the men and to meet the difficulty of obtaining suitable accommodation in Gloucester, special arrangements for daily transport by omnibus have been made. The fares which are paid by the men direct to the omnibus company vary from 6s. to 8s. per week. The men receive wages of 1s. 2¼d. or 1s. ½. per hour for a 49-hour week, which provides a higher daily wage than the hon. Member's question suggests. They are, in accordance with ordinary practice, not paid for travelling time. In so far as the men are unable or unwilling to move to residences nearer the work I do not see that more satisfactory arrangements can be made.
Will the Minister answer that part of the question which deals with deductions from the men's wages when the omnibuses are late through no fault of the men? That goes on and the men have no remedy. Is the Minister satisfied that the employers are legally entitled to make those deductions?
§ Mr. Brown
I must point out that the arrangements have been made to suit the convenience of the men. Many of them are married and own their houses, and the local employment committee, on which the workers' interests are represented, expressed satisfaction with the arrangements at its very last meeting.