The railway industry ranks as one of the most important employments of labour in Great Britain. In 1930 the railway companies employed directly some 632,000 persons, whose wages or salaries aggregated about £109,000,000 for the year. Money wages were low in some departments before the war, but the popularity of the railway services was shown by the fact that often the same family took employment with the railways from generation to generation. The amount of work done may be measured in various ways, and in practice there are a great variety of methods of paying wages. Counter proposals were made by the Unions regarding the pay of certain grades and improvement in conditions of service. The railway conciliation machinery consists of a National Wages Board, a Central Wages Board, Sectional Railway Councils, and Local Departmental Committees. In March, 1931, the National Wages Board recorded its findings, and these were accepted by both parties as the best obtainable in the circumstances.