HC Deb 25 March 1959 vol 602 cc1298-9
3. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will state in sterling value the average weekly wage being paid to the labourers working at the Royal Air Force staging post on Gan Island.

Mr. Ward

The sterling value of the average weekly wage on the scale agreed with the Maldivian Government is £1 18s. 6d.

Mr. Rankin

Does the hon. Gentleman not feel that this is a very low wage indeed to offer to these labourers? Because it is so low, is he paying this wage to the Maldivian Government instead of to the workers who earn it, and can he defend that practice? Does he realise that is a cause of a great deal of the discontent on Gan Island today?

Mr. Ward

We cannot look at this in terms of wage rates in this country. I have explained already that the scale was agreed by the Maldivian Government and also the method of payment.