HC Deb 10 November 1911 vol 30 cc2038-9W

asked the Under-Secretary for War whether he is aware that the making up of military clothing by his contractors is carried out at a low rate of pay; whether complaints have been addressed to the War Office on this score; whether a request from the military uniform tailors' union has been made for a minimum rate of pay to be inserted in all contracts; and whether any steps are being taken to improve the conditions of tailors and tailoresses working for Government contractors?

Colonel SEELY

The wages paid in the tailoring trade, including the uniform trade, no doubt leave much to be desired, and have from time to time been the subject of representations. With the object of affecting some amelioration in the conditions of workpeople engaged in the Army uniform trade a clause stipulating for the payment of a minimum wage has been one of the provisions of War Office clothing contracts for over two years, and has, I hope, produced an appreciable result. It is perhaps unnecessary to add that when the Trade Boards Act comes into operation in this industry, it will be obligatory upon Army clothing contractors, as upon others, to conform to the rates of wages which may be prescribed by the Trade Board.