§ Mr. HUDSON
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the fact that the firm of 1869W Messrs. Hawthorn, Leslie and Company, Hebburn, are employing apprentices only to do the work of fitting on the sea valves on His Majesty's torpedo boats in course of construction by that firm; and if he can say why qualified engineers are not employed on the work?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
It is the fact that a few fitter apprentices are being employed on one of the destroyers now under construction by Messrs. Hawthorn, Leslie and Company. These apprentices are at work fitting on certain sea valves, this work being well within their capabilites. The question of the payment of an outworking allowance for workmen when sent to work away from the premises where they have been taken on has recently been under discussion between the Employers' Federation and the Amalgamated Society of Engineers. An agreement was reached in May last upon the point, but in this particular case a difficulty of interpretation has arisen. For the time being therefore no men are proceeding from Messrs. Hawthorn, Leslie and Company's yard at Newcastle to the yard at Hebburn, where the destroyer is under construction. But I hope a settlement upon the point of interpretation in dispute will be very shortly arrived at.