§ Mr. HODGE
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office for what reason the viewers of the Royal Army Clothing Department (skilled men) were paid in respect of two days stoppage of work following the last Christmas holiday and, 196W as respects the boot viewers, of one day's stoppage for stocktaking on 31st March last (both unprecedented occasions in the records of the Department), on the basis of the adult minimum rates for unskilled labour; whether he is aware that the application to the viewers of Order No. 530 of the Royal Army Clothing Department, dated 23rd December, 1913, without their consent is regarded by them as an unwarrantable breach of their contracts of service and contrary to the Wages (Temporary Regulations) Act, 1918; whether he is aware that a grave feeling of unrest exists among these men on account of the delay in settlement of their claims for arrears of pay; and what steps he proposes to take to remedy this long outstanding grievance?
§ Mr. FORSTER
The Regulations under which the employ és in question serve do not provide for payment in respect of closed days when no work is done, and as a concession the minimum wage rule, which has obtained at Woolwich Arsenal for many years, was applied, and the matter has since been fully explained to representatives of the men. The Department has recently received further communications from them on the subject, and these are receiving consideration. I will communicate the decision on the question to my right hon. Friend in due course.