- MONT II/A/4/3/4
- 2 Jan. 1912
Part of Papers of Edwin Montagu, Part II
India Office, Whitehall, S.W.—His complaint against the Fair Wages Advisory Committee is that it stops short of giving the advice necessary to produce harmony between Government Departments. Such advice cannot shelter the contracting parties, who are free to to accept or reject its advice. He accepts that Buxton is not responsible for the Committee, but points out that the Board of Trade always answers questions on in it in the House and that it often uses Board of Trade paper. The opinion communicated in the Secretary of State’s letter, which was written with Montagu’s approval, was explicitly stated to be subject to Sir George Askwith’s approval. The letter was only written because of the Committee’s delay, and Buxton took action without waiting for the India Office’s reply to Askwith’s letter of 8 December. He will not be sorry if Buxton consults the Cabinet on the matter, since, if Buxton’s views of the Committee hold good and if future negotiations with the Committee proceed along similar lines, it is not as useful a body as it might be. But he hopes Buxton will not act till the Secretary of State [for India] is present to answer his contention.