asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been drawn to the intimation of the Postmaster-General of his intention to raise the minimum wage of adult men servants of the Post Office to 22s. per week; whether he can make a similar statement with respect to adult men serving under his department; and how many men in his department are now paid under 22s. per week?
Sir GODFREY BARING
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether there are any employés of his department, other than men on the active list of the Navy, on full time and twenty-three years of age earning less than 22s. a week; and whether he proposes, on the lines of the Post Office, to raise their wages to that amount?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
The minimum wage for labourers in dockyards and naval establishments was raised to 23s. (22s. at Haulbowline) last year. There are 116 pensioner messengers, labourers and packers employed at the Admiralty on wages of less than 22s., of whom six are on a scale enabling them to proceed by increments to 24s. a week. The subject of their wages is under consideration. There are, further, a number of men employed at the colleges whose emoluments are less than 22s.; their cases are also under consideration. In addition, sixteen men employed under the Admiralty Works Department receive less than 22s., their rates being based on hourly local rates.
Can I take it that the hon. Gentleman is not in a position to make a statement promising the same measure of relief to these poorly paid men as has been granted by the Postmaster-General to the men in the Post Office?
Well, we have about 55,000 employés. There are, as I said, 116 pensioner messengers, labourers, and packers at the Admiralty getting less than 22s. There are also a number of men at the colleges, servants and gardeners, and so on, getting less than 22s. I have said these cases are under consideration. There are also sixteen works men, thirteen at Shotley and three at Alderney, getting less than 22s.