§ Mr. RONALD McNEILL
asked the Minister of Food whether provincial employes of the Ministry over 21 years of age have been given recently an increase of 5s. a week, and those under 21 years of age an increase of 2s. 6d. a week, such increase to be retrospective as from 1st July, 1920, although such increase was not asked for by the employes concerned; what the total cost of the increase will amount to; and whether such unsolicited increases in wages paid to Government employes are consistent with the need for public economy?
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
The increase of pay to which the hon. Member refers was the outcome of a claim on behalf of temporary clerical staffs generally made by their representatives on the Cost of Living Committee of the1308W National Civil Service Whitley Council and was not therefore unsolicited. The total cost of applying it to the provincial staff of the Ministry of Food was approximately £12,000 in respect of arrears, and an increase at the rate of £2,000 per annum in the wages bill from January 1st, 1921, though the demobilisation of staff is causing a progressive reduction in the latter figure.