HC Deb 24 June 1920 vol 130 cc2416-8W
Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture the number of applications of ex-service men and civilians who have, respectively, applied for smallholdings; and how many have been actually settled, approved, or are waiting, since the new Act became law last August?


The Land Settlement (Facilities) Act became law in August, 1919, but the Government scheme for settling ex-service men on the land was inaugurated in December, 1918, and the following statistics show the latest information as from the latter date:

extra dividends to maintain theirs; and the total annual additional charges estimated to be necessary to meet such advances in wages (including that presently to be made) as compared with those prevailing in July, 1914?


I cannot give the hon. Member all the information in detail for which he asks, but the following statement shows the concessions given during the period from August, 1914, until the date of the recent Report of the National Wages Board to men employed in the conciliation grades, and I would also refer him to the published Report of the National Wages Board. Ordinary fares have been increased by 50 per cent., and excursion and other cheap tickets have been generally withdrawn. The addition to freight rates was estimated to produce £50,000,000, and represents approximately an average increase of 60 per cent. An estimate of the additional sums to meet present-day cost of operation, including the increase in wages, is now being prepared, and I am not in a position to state a figure. As regards shareholders, I would remind the hon. Member that from the outset of the War the companies have been guaranteed the net aggregate receipts of the favourable year 1913, and this guarantee is continued for the period of control.

The war bonus and war wages paid to railwaymen in the conciliation grades during the War were as follow

February, 1915.—3s. per week to men whose wages were less than 30s. per week. 2s. per week to men whose wages were 30s. per week or more.

June, 1915.—1s. 6d. per week to boys under 18.

October, 1915.—War bonus increased to 5s. per week to men over 18. 2s. 6d. per week to boys under 18.

September, 1916.—War bonus increased to 10s. per week to men over 18. 5s. per week to boys under 18.

April, 1917.7—War bonus increased to 15s. per week to men over 18. 7s. 6d. per week to boys under 18.

August, 1917.—War bonus converted into war wages as from 1st August.

November, 1917.—War wage increased to 21s. for men over 18. 10s. 6d. to boys under 18.

April, 1918.—War wage increased to 25s. to men over 18. 12s. 6d. to boys under 18.

September, 1918.—War wage increased to 30s. to men over 18. 15s. to boys under 18.

November, 1918.—War wage increased to 33s. to men over 18. 16s. 6d. to boys under 18.

August, 1919.—Locomotive men's wages fixed.


  • 1st and 2nd years, 12s. per day.
  • 3rd and 4th years, 13s. per day.
  • 5th, 6th, and 7th years, 14s. per day.
  • 8th year onwards, 15s. per day.


  • 1st and 2nd years, 9s. 6d. per day.
  • 3rd and 4th years, 10s. 6d. per day.
  • 5th year onwards, 11s. per day.

(These rates include all War wages.)


  • Age 16 (and under), 4s. per day.
  • Age 17, 5s. per day.
  • Age 18 and 19, 6s. per day.
  • Age 20 and over, 7s. per day.

(Where these rates do not reach previous total earnings the balance to remain as a War wage.)

The standard rates agreed upon in January, 1920, for the conciliation grades, other than drivers, firemen, and cleaners, are shown in the conclusions of the National Wages Board, dated 3rd June, 1920.

Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Minister of Transport what was the annual wage bill of the railway in 1913; and what will be the estimated wage bill for a full year under the recent concessions?


The annual wages bill of the principal railways in 1913 was about £49,000,000. The estimated wages bill in a full year, taking into account all increases authorised to date and including the cost of the 8-hour day, is about £163,000,000. The increase includes an additional number of staff of approximately 23 per cent. mainly owing to the 8-hour day.