HC Deb 13 August 1833 vol 20 cc576-8

On the Motion of Lord Althorp, the House went into a Committee on the Factories' Regulation Bill.

Mr. George Wood

, on Clause 8th, which enacts that the employment of children under eleven, twelve, and thirteen years of age, for more than eight hours a-day, should be prohibited, moved, as an Amendment, that at the expiration of six months after the passing of the Act, no child under eleven years of age should be permitted to work more than eight hours; that no child under the age of twelve years should be permitted, after the expiration of eighteen months from the passing of the Bill, to work for more than eight hours a-day; and that after the expiration of two years from the passing of the Bill, no child under thirteen years should be permitted to work more than eight hours a-day. This, he said, he did, that the effect of the Bill might be gradual.

Lord Althorp

objected to the Amendment as postponing the operation of the Bill till March, 1835.

Captain Elliott

would support the Amendment, from his knowledge of the impossibility of procuring relays. The information from the country convinced him that a graduated scale would be infinitely preferable.

Mr. Poulett Thomson

observed, that the principle of gradation was, perhaps, necessary to carry the Bill efficiently into effect, so, indeed, as to insure the co-operation of the masters. He certainly was in favour of the Amendment, though he had some doubts whether the House would be prepared to go the whole length of his hon. friend.

Lord Morpeth

was averse to the adoption of such lengthened periods; but he would not object to a graduated system, the extent of time being limited to six months.

The first part of the hon. Member's Amendment was put, and carried without a division.

On the question of postponing the operation of the clause, as affecting children of twelve years of age for eighteen months,

Lord Althorp proposed the adoption of twelve months for eighteen.

The Committee divided on Mr. Wood's Amendment—Aves 34.; Noes 23: Majority 11,

The third proposition of Mr. Wood's was agreed to, and the clause, so amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Brotherton moved an Amendment to the 9th Clause, that ten hours be inserted for eight hours, for children under thirteen years of age. It would be better for masters and operatives.

Mr. Hyett

seconded the Amendment. Though the Bill might remedy abuses in some districts, in others it would cause great poverty and distress, and families would be reduced by it from 10s. to 4,s. per week.

Mr. Edward Stanley

could not see how, in consistency with its pledges to the country, the House could adopt the principle of the hon. Member. The House had already decided the question of the Ten Hours' Bill.

The Committee divided on Mr. Brother-ton's Amendment—Ayes 16; Noes 40: Majority 24.

List of the AYES.
Briggs, R. Moreton, Hon. A. H.
Brocklehurst, J. Parnell, Sir H.
Cayley, E. S. Scrope, P.
Cobbett, W. Shepherd, T.
Egerton, W. T. Torrens, Col.
Fielden, J. Williams, Col.
Harland, W. C. Willoughby, Sir H.
Hyett, W. H. TELLER.
Maxwell, J. Brotherton, J.

The House resumed. The Committee to sit again.

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