§ 48. Lord H. CAVENDISH-BENTINCK
asked the Prime Minister whether he has had his attention called to the dissatisfaction of the employés in Government dockyards, owing to the present system of distributing orders necessitating alternating periods of work at high pressure and comparative slackness; and whether he has yet decided to appoint an Interdepartmental Committee to inquire into the possibility of the prevention of irregularity of employment through the regulation of the demand for labour by a better distribution of Government orders?
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
Steps have been taken to ascertain the views of the Departments principally concerned, in accordance with the undertaking which I gave the Noble Lord on the 5th February. I am not yet in a position, however, to decide as to the appointment of the suggested Committee.
§ 75. Mr. CHARLES DUNCAN
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in view of the discontent prevailing amongst the employés in the engineering trades in His Majesty's dockyards and of their having presented a united request from all the yards for an increased rate of wages at their interview with the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty, on the 5th December, 1912, he will advise the Board of Admiralty to immediately consider and decide this question so as to re-establish the cordial relations hitherto existing?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
I presume my hon. Friend refers to the deputation from the Amalgamated Society of Engineers which I received on the 4th of December last. I explained then that the Board of Admiralty's decision on the matters raised would be found in the 186 general replies to the Annual Petitions. I gave an undertaking that every endeavour would be made to expedite procedure; and that has been done. As I explained in the debates of yesterday and last week, three remaining establishments have to be visited: Portland, Pembroke Dock, and Haulbowline. I have arranged to visit Pembroke Dock next week, and Haulbowline the week after. Portland will be visited thereafter without delay. The review of the whole matter by the Board, and communications with other Departments concerned, will necessarily take some little time. But, so far as I can see, there should be little difficulty in promulgating the Board's decisions this year earlier than last.