Contracts (Fair Wages Clause).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Supply. – in the House of Commons on 18th April 1940.

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Photo of Mr George Tomlinson Mr George Tomlinson , Farnworth

asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that the County Brook Mill Company, Foulridge, who are engaged on Government contracts at their Foulridge mill, are working overtime and being permitted to do so by the Home Office, whilst at the same time refusing to honour trade union agreements regarding overtime rates; and will he inform this company that such action is a breach of the Fair Wages Clause in Government orders and call for redress?

Photo of Mr Edward Burgin Mr Edward Burgin , Luton

The County Brook Mill Company are not noted on the Ministry of Supply list of contractors, and hold no direct orders from my Department. I am not, therefore, in a position to take the action suggested by the hon. Member.

Photo of Mr George Tomlinson Mr George Tomlinson , Farnworth

May I ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker, as to how this information can be obtained? Will it be necessary for me to put a Question in similar terms to every Department with which this firm may have contracts, or could I obtain the information through the Home Office, which have granted an order for overtime?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

The hon. Member had better try.

Photo of Mr George Tomlinson Mr George Tomlinson , Farnworth

It is because of trying and trying again that I am seeking your advice. I have already put a Question to the Home Office, which has been answered, but has evaded the point which I am now putting to you. Therefore, I ask whether, with your permission, I can put that Question to the Home Office?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

I give the hon. Member the same advice as I gave before—try.

Photo of Mr Valentine McEntee Mr Valentine McEntee , Walthamstow West

In cases of this sort, which all of us have experienced, where it seems impossible to get any information in regard to the Fair Wages Clause, if a Question were put to the Prime Minister, in view of the fact that the Fair Wages Clause ought to be in every contract, whether it is carried out by subcontractors or not, should we be entitled to a reply?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

The hon. Member should address questions of that kind to the Departments concerned.

Photo of Mr Valentine McEntee Mr Valentine McEntee , Walthamstow West

One cannot find out which Department is concerned.