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Volume 245: debated on Monday 24 November 1930

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asked the Minister of Labour the rates of wages in July, 1920, of bricklayers, painters, building labourers, fitters and turners, engineering labourers, shipwrights, ship joiners, shipbuilding labourers, engine drivers, ticket collectors, goods porters, dock cargo workers, able seamen, ships' firemen, tramcar drivers, carters, hand compositors and machine minders, bookbinders and machine rulers, and agricultural labourers?

The following statement shows the time rates of wages and hours of labour in July, 1930, for adult male work-people in the occupations mentioned, either in the five largest towns in Great Britain or in the country generally.



(Unless otherwise indicated the particulars given are agreed upon

by organisations of employers and workpeople in the industries mentioned.)

Industry and Occupation.Rates of Wages.Hours of Labour in a full ordinary week, exclusive of




Per hour.Per hour.Per hour.Per hour.Per hour.
Bricklayers1s. 8½d. & 1s. 8d.*1s. 7d.1s. 8½d. plus 2s. per week "tool money".1s. 7d.1s. 8d.44†
Painters1s. 7½d. & 1s. 7d.*1s. 7d.1s. 8½d.1s. 7d.1s. 8d.
Labourers1s. 3½d. & 1s. 3d.*1s. 2¼d.1s. 2¾d. & 1s. 3¼d.1s. 2¼d.1s. 2¼d. & 1s. 2¾d.

General Engineering:

Per week.Per week.Per week.Per week.Per week.
Fitters and Turners62s. 11d.58s.§58s.§58s.§58s. 1d.§47
Labourers45s. 3½d.42s.41s. & 42s. 9d.§40s.§42s. 4½d.§

Dock Labour:

Per day.Per day.Per day.Per day.
Ordinary Labourers12s. & 13s. 6d.12s.12s.12s.44 (eleven half days of 4 hours each).

Tramway Service:║

Per week.Per week.Per week.Per week.Per week.
Drivers64s. to 73s.59s. 6d. to 66s. 6d.61s. 5d. to 63s. 9d.57s. 6d. to 63s. 6d.56s. to 64s.48

General Printing and Bookbinding:

Hand compositors89s.74s. 6d.77s. 6d.77s. 6d.77s. 6d.48
Machine minders89s. to 120s.74s. 6d. to 91s. 6d.77s. 6d. to 94s. 6d.77s. 6d. to 94s. 6d.
Bookbinders and Machine rulers80s.74s. 6d.77s. 6d.77s. 6d.77s. 6d.

Commercial, Road Transport:

One-horse drivers57s. & 58s.57s.51s.48
Two-horse drivers61s. & 62s.63s.

* The higher rate applied to the area within a 12-mile radius of Charing Cross and the lower rate to the area outside the 12-mile but within a 15-mile radius of Charing Cross.

† 46½ in Birmingham and Manchester during statutory "summer time."
‡ The rates stated are time rates, but a majority of fitters and turners and some labourers are paid by results and earn substantially more than time-rates
§ These rates were recognised by the Trade Unions concerned; they were not, so far as the Department is aware, embodied in any formal general agreements with the employers' organisations.
║ The rates quoted for the Tramway Service were the minima and maxima of the scales paid.


Great Britain.—The agreed national minimum time-rate for skilled men, including shipwrights and ship joiners, at the principal shipbuilding centres is 60s. a week on new work and 63s. on repair work; for labourers it is 41s. on now work and 44s. on repair work, for a 47 hour week. At London, Liverpool, and Manchester the rates for repair work are appreciably higher.

Railway Service.

Engine driversGreat Britain.—lst and 2nd years 72s.; 3rd and 4th years 78s.; 5th year 84s.; 6th year and onwards 90s. (for certain classes of engine drivers and maximum rate is 84s.). Hours, 48 per week. Where the mileage during any turn of duty exceeds 140 miles, extra payment is made. A rent allowance of 3s. per week is paid to men stationed in London.

Ticket Collectors—Great Britain.

Class 1.—58s. per week of 48 hours.

Class 2.—54s. per week of 48 hours.

Goods porters.

London.—47s. per week of 48 hours.

Provincial Industrial areas.—46s. per week of 48 hours. (New entrants on and from 1st February, 1926, 44s.)

Mercantile Marine—Great Britain.

Rates fixed under decisions of the National Maritime Board.

Able seamen.—Monthly rate £9 (with free food in addition); weekly rates 62s. (men finding own food), and 41s. (with free food in addition).

Firemen.—Monthly rate £9 10s. (with free food in addition); weekly rates 62s. (men finding own food), and 41s. (with free food in addition).


England and Wales.—Ordinary workers: The average of the minimum rates made effective by Orders of the Agricultural Wages Board under the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act, 1924, as calculated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries was 31s. 80. per week, inclusive of the value of allowances in kind (as defined in the Orders).

Scotland.—Ordinary married ploughmen: In Scotland, where the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act does not apply, the average of the estimated weekly earnings in the summer of 1930, as calculated by the Scottish Board of Agriculture, was 36s. 8d. This total is inclusive of the value of allowances in kind, which are of considerable amount in many counties.