HC Deb 03 March 1919 vol 113 cc54-5W

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that two different rates of wage are being paid to the carpenters and joiners employed at the Mechanical Transport Depot, Salt Hill, Slough, viz., 1s. 9d. and 1s. 7d. per hour, and that this is causing discontent among the workmen; and whether he will remove the cause of this by paying all these workmen 1s. 9d. per hour?


I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on the 27th February to a similar question asked by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wycombe, to the effect that the supply of local labour has had to be reinforced by London workmen, whose wages are at a higher rate than those of the local men. They are both trade union rates and the War Department has no authority to alter them.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether the drainage from the works at Cippenham could have been disposed of by the use of the Slough Urban District Council sewage scheme, which passes close to the scheme now proposed, thus saving 25 acres of valuable agricultural land and also saving a large expenditure of money and a considerable loss to the tenant of the land?


I am informed by those who have been concerned in this enterprise that it would have been possible to utilise the Slough Urban District Council scheme, but in this case the pipe line would have been considerably longer, and the expense to the War Department greater. There were also other technical considerations which influenced the decision. Before arriving at this decision, the existing facilities for dealing with sewage in the neighbourhood were exhaustively examined, as were also the possibilities of any extensions which were likely to be required in the near future by the district councils in the area. Several possible alternatives were considered, and the advantages and disadvantages carefully weighed. The balance of expert opinion was in favour of the scheme finally adopted in conjunction with the Eton Rural District Council, who will shortly be requiring an extension.