HC Deb 07 July 1937 vol 326 cc364-6W
Mr. Lyons

asked the President of the Board of Trade what were the export and import figures for the six months period ending at the latest convenient date between this country and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, respectively?

Captain Wallace

The following table shows the declared value of merchandise imported into and exported from the United Kingdom and registered during the six months ended March, 1937, as consigned from or to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

age will be given a reasonable opportunity of securing establishment if they give satisfactory service for a period of io years or more?

Mr. Cooper

The present complement of established workmen in the Professional and Miscellaneous Departments of the Home Dockyards, apart from certain supervisory grades in which establishment is the rule, is based on the following proportions of the numbers on the Yard Books on 1st October, 1936: 30 per cent. of the Mechanics (skilled workmen).

25 per cent. of the men in the Titular Grades (Riveters, Caulkers, Welders, Drillers and Wiremen).

20 per cent. of the Skilled Labourers (semi-skilled men who have not served an apprenticeship).

To increase the complements of established men at the present time, when the numbers employed are unusually large, would result in an unduly high proportion of established men being borne when eventually reductions have to be made, and this in turn would lead, as in the past, to the restriction or suspension of entries to the established list, or even to the premature discharge of established men. The present established complement should give reasonable chance of establishment to deserving men of long service and, for the reasons given, the Board of Admiralty are not prepared to revise the system in the manner suggested by my hon. and gallant Friend.

Captain Plugge

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the report of the Unemployment Insurance Statutory Committee with regard to the position of established dockyard workers retired on pension; and whether, in view of the fact that this report shows that a substantial proportion of the pensioners are obliged to retire on pensions which are inadequate for their support, he proposes to take any steps to review the system of contributory pensions for dockyard employés, with a view to ensuring that they are adequate for the purpose for which they are intended?

Mr. Cooper

The award of pensions, allowances and gratuities on retirement to established workpeople employed by the Admiralty is governed by the Superrannuation Acts, which apply to the Civil Service as a whole, and the Board of Admiralty see no reason why this particular class of their employés should receive more favourable treatment. Under these Acts the amounts awarded are, broadly speaking, based on the employé's emoluments on retirement and the length of his service. During the year 1936 about 4 per cent. of the established workmen who retired on pension at the age of 60 from Admiralty establishments in this country received pensions of less than 15s. a week, in addition to lump sums of less than £104. In consequence of the report of the Unemployment Insurance Statutory Committee which drew attention to this, the Board are considering the desirability of retaining after the age of 60 men who, if discharged to pension, would receive pensions and lump sums of less than those amounts, and this question is now before the Admiralty Industrial Council.