Mr. F. HALL (Dulwich)
asked the President of the Board of Trade, if his attention has been called to the claim of Mr. C. W. Wright for arrears of pay due to him in connection with his services as local agent for the Board of Trade labour exchanges and unemployment insurance at Penge; whether he is aware that it was arranged on Mr. Wright's appointment that his remuneration should be based on the number of unemployed books current in the area of the agency at the end of the year upon a fixed scale; that subsequently his appointment as local agent was determined, and he received a fresh appointment as a temporary clerk at the Anerley Road Exchange; that on 13th November, 1913, the Board of Trade sent Mr. Wright an order for £42 5s. 10d. in full satisfaction of his claim for remuneration while acting as local agent; that this offer was refused and the Board of Trade in February, 1914, offered to pay a further sum of £10 10s. 8d. if accepted in settlement; if he can state why, if the first amount offered represented all that Mr. Wright was entitled to, the offer of a further sum was made to him; on what basis these proposed payments were calculated; what amount was due to Mr. Wright at the time his appointment as local agent was terminated on the scale of pay laid down in the Board's letter of 21st January, 1913; and if he will explain the grounds upon which Mr. Wright was discharged from his employment as temporary clerk shortly after he submitted a petition through his solicitors with regard to the payments properly due to him?
Mr. C. W. Wright was employed as local agent for unemployment insurance in Penge for a period of nine months, from 22nd January, 1913, to 21st October, 1913. The total remuneration payable to him for that period was £100 13s. 4d. Of this sum, £58 7s. 6d. has been paid. The balance of £42 5s. 10d. 1923W has been offered to him, but refused. The remuneration referred to above is based upon the number of unemployment books for the year 1912–13 estimated to be current in the area of the agency at 14th July, 1913. Such books should, in accordance with the Regulations, be returned to the local agency and exchanged for new ones within a week of that date. As, however, there has been some delay in returning books, the Board are prepared to treat all books exchanged up to 14th October, 1913, as current in the area of the agency at 14th July. The local agency was terminated on 21st October, 1913, because Mr. Wright was no longer in a position to provide the accommodation he had undertaken to provide. Accordingly no notice on the part of the Board to terminate the agency was required. With a view, however, to avoiding any possibility of hardship to Mr. Wright, the Board, in lieu of any notice, offered, and Mr. Wright accepted, a temporary appointment as clerk in the Labour Exchanges and Unemployment Insurance Department at a salary of 35s. a week. This appointment was for a period not exceeding three months in the first instance, but Mr. Wright's services were, in fact, retained until 2nd May, 1914, when they were terminated owing to a reduction of staff, affecting not Mr. Wright only, but many others. The sum of £10 10s. 8d. is the difference between what Mr. Wright would have received for three months, from 22nd October onward, if he had continued as local agent, and what he did, in fact, receive as temporary clerk. This sum of £10 10s. 8d. was offered to Mr. Wright in addition to the sums of £58 7s. 6d. and £42 5s. 10d., to which I have already referred, in order to remove all possible ground of complaint on Mr. Wright's part.