asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that, after long negotiations between the official and staff sides of the Departmental Whitley Council in the Admiralty, no agreement was reached as to the pay of locally entered civilian clerical staff at Malta, that on 17th July the Admiralty was asked to refer the matters in dispute to the appropriate arbitration body set up by His Majesty's Government, and that four months have elapsed without any reply to that request being received by the staff association; and whether, in view of the unrest among the staff concerned, he will take steps to refer the matter in dispute to the Civil Service arbitration tribunal at the earliest possible moment?
Following my recent visit to the Mediterranean, I was satisfied that existing conditions at Malta warranted some increase in the rates of remuneration of these employés, and I am now able to state that an increase is to be made in the bonus rates which will be paid from 1st November, 1936. This increase in the rates will benefit all classes of local entrants at Malta, from the highest paid clerks and subordinate officers to the lowest paid labourers, and the amount of the increase will vary in different cases from 2s. to 4s. a week. I hope that, in view of this decision, no further question of arbitration in the matter of the pay of locally entered civilian clerical staffs at Malta will arise.