asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that there are employed by the collector of Customs and Excise at 184, Deansgate, Manchester, women cleaners who work 30 hours per week for a basic wage of 13s., plus a cost-of-living bonus of 6s. 6d.; that the Government Minor Grades Association, to which these women belong, has been notified that the Commissioners of Customs and Excise cannot increase that rate; and, seeing that a total wage of 19s. 6d. per week is insufficient for work of this nature or even to obtain the necessities of life, whether he will take steps to remedy this position?
The lowness of the total remuneration is due to the relatively small number of hours worked. Expressed as an hourly rate the payment is not out of scale with the recognised industrial rates in Manchester. The position of these employés will be borne in mind in connection with the possibility of arranging for longer hours of work with a smaller staff.
Is not the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that, although the hours may, be comparatively short, these women are engaged for a full week and are unable to obtain any other employment; and does he not think that there is ample room for reviewing the rate and conditions?
Is not the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that these women must be available to the Customs and Excise office every day in each week; otherwise, their services would be dispensed with altogther; and, in these circumstances, does he not think that he might very well reconsider the position?
May I make myself clear and ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman if he is aware that these women must be available for the whole of the six days, or otherwise they would be dismissed?