HC Deb 05 May 1825 vol 13 cc421-2
Mr. Hobhouse

said, he would not at that late hour trespass on the House with any observations; but, merely move for leave to bring in a bi!l, the object of which would be, to regulate the working hours for Children employed in Cotton Mills.

Mr. J Smith

highly approved of the measure, but thought it would be better to make it more general, and extend it to other mills, such as those for manufacturing flax and woollens.

Mr. Hobhouse

said, he had found so much difficulty in making regulations for cotton mills, that he thought that single object was enough for a single person. If the House was disposed to make it a general measure, he should have no objection.

Mr. C. Wilson

also wished to see the measure made general, and applicable to children employed in all such mills.

Mr. Peel

said, he had no objection to the hon. member's bringing in his bill: but he entreated the House to pause before it entered too extensively into this field of legislation. The present bill was like one to which he had before given his support; but the House must take care and not carry this sort of legislation too far. If they made the regulations too severe, the masters might refuse to employ any children.

Mr. W. Smith

was in favour of the bill. He thought the former measure was inoperative, because the visiting magistrates were not empowered to inspect the cotton mills.

Leave was given to bring in the bill.