HC Deb 25 February 1918 vol 103 cc1112-3W

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether labourers' wages fixed by Government boards in Ireland are retrospective; and, if so, from what date?


The Agricultural Wages Board for Ireland have issued two Orders, dated 10th November, 1917, and 14th January, 1918, relating to wages payable to different classes of workers. The wages fixed by the Orders are payable from their respective dates.


asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he has received a memorial from the Meath labour union stating that, owing to the increased cost of living and scarcity of many of the necessaries of life, and considering the profits made by graziers and tillage farmers, proven by the fact that they are able to pay £15 per acre for grazing land this season, they demand a minimum wage of 25s. per week, and that, in view of the necessity for an increased birth rate to make good the ravages of this War, they call upon the Government to introduce forthwith a scheme for State allowances to workers with families, to be worked similar to the scheme in operation for payment to soldiers' dependants, to enable the workers to provide sufficient nourishment for their children, thereby reducing the rate of infantile mortality; and, if so, if he will say what action he proposes to take in the matter?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. The Agricultural Wages Board for Ireland have fixed a minimum wage for the county of Meath of 22s. 6d. a week for ordinary workers for a ten hour day with overtime thereafter at the rate of 6¾d. per hour, and 25s. a week, inclusive wage, to certain classes of employés to cover overtime and Sunday work, where such is done.