§ Mr. J. DAVISON
asked the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that men recruited to work on the railways in Mesopotamia were promised 300 rupees per month; that at the commencement they were advanced a month's pay which came to £.39 7s. 6d.; that 300 rupees now only equals £23 12s.; that the men have asked the Civil Commissioner to stabilise the 300 rupees at £30, under which arrangement the men would lose £9 7s. 6d., and the Government £5 8s.; and whether, in view of the present hardship imposed upon the men who have to maintain their families at Home, he will represent to the Civil Commissioner the advisability of acceding to the men's request?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
Men have been recruited for the Mesopotamia railways at varying rates of pay, and have received advances of one or two months' pay according to their requirements. The minimum rate was originally 200 rupees a month, but this was subsequently raised to 275 rupees. The fall in exchange has of course reduced the sterling equivalent of pay expressed in rupees. I am not aware that the men have made any representation to the High Commissioner on the subject,but I will make inquiries.