The question of paid holidays is one which affects all Government work people and is dealt with through the recognised negotiating machinery. The conditions underground at Copenacre are not deemed to warrant special consideration for the work people concerned.
Is the Civil Lord aware that these men put in their claims five months ago and that they have heard nothing at all from his Department; and is he further aware that after paying their travelling expenses, they receive less than the agricultural minimum? Does the Admiralty consider that these are respectable terms of payment for their work?
I cannot agree at all with the statement that they receive less than the agricultural minimum. On the other question that they put in their claim, no specific claim has been put in for these men; it is a general claim which is to be dealt with by the joint co-ordinating committee.
I am quite certain that the hon. Gentleman read the reply I gave him last week. The answer on that occasion was that we are paying rates in accordance with the award of the Industrial Court, which is the accepted procedure throughout the country.
The appropriate trade unions have not made a specific application in respect of these men but general applications have come in from the trade Anions.