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Navy Supplementary Estimate, 1919–20.

Part of Orders of the Day — Civil Services and Revenue Departments and Navy Supplementary Estimates, 1919–1920. – in the House of Commons on 17th March 1920.

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Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

I cannot say. There was no flat rate of £1 a day. How much any individual who went down, say, to Gloucestershire or Dorsetshire, or a distant place like that, got, and properly got, I cannot say. I hope it is not the suggestion that there was any attempt to pay outrageous rates to people as a bribe to them to help us. There were certainly no such attempts. With regard to the hire of vehicles, I am sorry that I cannot give definite information. The figures vary, of course, very much. They were paid as cheaply as possible at the time, but I cannot give detailed information. With regard to the question of the hon. Baronet (Sir J. D. Rees), I am not able to give any estimate of what the strike might have cost the community had it lasted as many weeks as it lasted days. It was stated that directly and indirectly the strike cost something like £10,000,000. How much it cost the railways, how much it cost the country by delay in demobilisation and other matters, it is extremely difficult to say. I have no doubt that I shall have the House with me when I say that, having regard to the gigantic nature of the task, the importance to the community that they should be paid, and that this absolutely essential service should be maintained, the cost is as cheap as it could possibly have been in the circumstances.