HC Deb 16 July 1863 vol 172 c870

said, he rose to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he intends to introduce any legislative measure to place children employed in Potteries and Paper Tube Factories under the protection of the Factory Act; also, whether his attention has been drawn to the great destruction of human life for many years by the constant bursting of Steam Boilers, especially by one near Leeds a few days ago, where ten people were killed; and, if so, whether he does not think that Steam Boilers ought to be placed under Government inspection?


replied, that it was not the intention of the Government to introduce any legislative measure to place the children referred to under the protection of the Factory Act. The evidence given before the Commission and the Report had been so recently published that sufficient time had not been afforded for its consideration. The matter, however, would be considered during the recess, and then his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department would determine whether or not he would introduce any measure founded on the recommendation contained in the Report. With regard to the bursting of steam boilers, there could be no doubt that every year a considerable sacrifice of human life took place from accidents of that description. But the hon. Gentleman could hardly have considered, when he proposed to place boilers under Government inspection, what he was asking the Government to do. Boilers were scattered all over the country, and consisted of those used in manufactories, for locomotive and also for agricultural purposes. Inspection by Government was to a considerable extent to be a substitution of Government responsibility for private responsibility; and unless they were enabled to make a real and complete inspection, it would be better not to attempt it.


said he wished to know if the observations of the hon. Gentleman applied to the whole or only to part of the Report of the Commissioners. He alluded particularly to that part which was most interesting to Lancashire.


replied, that his answer referred to the whole Report.