HC Deb 22 April 1918 vol 105 cc687-8W

asked the Minister of Munitions whether the work at the new coprolite workings is being carried on by the Department direct or under a contract; if the latter, the date and nature of the contract, what the weekly expenditure on the said works is, and the average weekly amount of coprolite gained; and whether his attention has been called to the serious effect of the present conduct of the work upon the local conditions of labour?


The work is being carried on direct by the Mineral Re-sources Department of the Ministry of Munitions, who have entrusted the actual excavation work to sub-contractors by contracts dated 6th August, 1917, and 11th December, 1917, on a footage basis at the rate of 8d. per cubic yard for excavation and washing. The average output anticipated is 600 tons rising to 1,200 tons of clean coprolites per week, and de- liveries are expected to commence at the end of this month. The Department has made every endeavour to instal mechanical appliances to save encroaching on the labour supply of the country. Great care has been taken not to employ any agricultural labourers or any local labour. All the men employed are foreign to the district and imported by the subcontractors, and are in receipt of wages, settled under an arbitration award of the Ministry of Labour.

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