HC Deb 12 July 1844 vol 76 cc739-40
Mr. Parker

The right hon. Gentleman will recollect that a deputation from Sheffield waited upon him some few weeks ago, in the course of which Dr. Holland, an eminent physician of that town, explained the very fatal effect that was produced upon the grinding population of that town by the unventilated state of the workshops. It was also shown to the right hon. Baronet, that by means of a fan, an easy and inexpensive mode of driving away the deleterious particles of steel and dust from the grinding wheel was practicable. The deputation having stated these things, and having pressed them upon the attention of the right hon. Baronet, he was good enough to say that he would take them into consideration, and give an answer when he had done so. In consequence, he begged to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he was disposed to take any step in the matter on the principle of compulsory legislation; but if, as was most probable at the present period of the Session, such legislation was impracticable, whether he would be willing to call the attention of the Commission over which the noble Earl the Member for South Notts presided, or that of some factory commission, with the view of enabling the Government hereafter, or some independent Member, to address themselves to the subject, with the advantage of having the Report of persons connected with mechanical affairs, and able to form a sound opinion on its necessity and objects before them. He believed it would be found quite practicable; and if so, would confer a great benefit on a numerous class of the population, who now suffered from diseases little known to that House, but the tendency and incipient causes of which might be removed by proper ventilation?

Sir J. Graham

said, that the short time which had elapsed since he had received a deputation from Sheffield on this subject, had not allowed him to devote very minute attention to it. He had not yet had any means of ascertaining the efficacy of the invention alluded to; but he should certainly not be prepared to enforce the adoption of anything of the kind by Act of Parliament. If the remedy were as cheap and effectual as had been stated, he thought the master manufacturers themselves would be disposed to adopt it.

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