HC Deb 15 July 1912 vol 41 cc53-4W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, whether his attention has been called to the fact that the skilled and ordinary labourers employed at the Haulbowline dockyard are paid a lower rate of wages than at any dockyard in England; whether the cost of living is about the same at Queenstown as at Sheerness, Chatham, Portsmouth, or Devon-port; whether the labourers engaged by the Queenstown Urban Council in unskilled employment are paid the same rate as the men at Haulbowline, but receive in addition numerous privileges in the form of holidays without loss of pay, waterproof clothing, and boots; and whether he will take any steps to make the position of the men at Haulbowline equal to the other dockyards.


The rate of wages for labourers, as also the minimum rate for skilled labourers, at Haulbowline, is 1s. a week less than at the dockyards in England. I have no recent statistics respecting the cost of living, but I presume that cost is reflected to some extent in the general level of wages in the district. I understand that only a small number of labourers are employed by the urban council, and that their rate of wages for a 54-hour week was brought up to the dockyard level about a week ago. I believe it is the fact that in addition a pair of boots and suit of oilskins are allowed annually to these employees. But I may remind my honourable Friend that dockyard employés are not without certain privileges. Petitions respecting the rates of wages at the dockyards, including Haulbowline, have recently been under consideration, and the Admiralty decisions in the matter will shortly be issued.