§ MR. PULESTON
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether his attention has been called to the following statement in the public prints, viz.:—In consequence of the scarcity of skilled mechanics which exists in the shipbuilding department at several of the Royal dockyards, some of the officials connected with those establishments have been sent to certain of the great shipbuilding yards on the Thames for the purpose of procuring hands for the Government dockyards. Up to the present time, however, little or no success has attended the efforts to induce mechanics to leave the private yards and transfer their services to the Admiralty. The principal reasons assigned by the workmen for declining to enter the public yards are the low scale of wages and the system of classification at those estabhshments;and whether, if the statement be correct, it is proposed to take any action with a view of overcoming the obstacles complained of, and of adding to the efficiency of the Government dockyards?
§ MR. HUNT
Sir, the statement referred to by the hon. Membr is only to a certain extent accurate. In the case of some classes of mechanics men were obtained at the Port of London to the full extent required. In the case of other classes, men were not obtained there, but have since been engaged at other ports in sufficient numbers. I understand that the question of continuity of employment was that upon which the men applied to principally required to be assured.