HC Deb 21 February 1871 vol 204 c588

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the fact that several poor Jews have recently been subjected to heavy fines by Manchester magistrates, under the provisions of the Workshops' Regulation Act, for working on Sundays; and, whether it is his intention during this Session of Parliament to amend the Act so as to remove this injustice?


said, in reply, that his attention had not been specially called to the cases referred to; but he was aware that persons of the Jewish persuasion were subjected to hardships under the present law. Those hardships, however, arose, not so much from the operation of the Workshops' Regulation Act as from that of the general law of the country, which prohibited work being done upon the Christian Sunday. The Jews, by their own religion, were prevented from working on the Saturday, and thus their power of labour was limited to five days in the week. The subject had been considered by the Committee, which had sat upon the Workshops' Regulation Act, and everything had been done, without actually violating the law of the land, to relieve the grievances of the Jews upon this subject. He understood that it was the intention of the hon. Member for Greenwich (Sir David Salomons) to challenge the opinion of the House upon the matter.