HC Deb 14 February 1873 vol 214 cc437-8

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the Government intend to appoint local officers, under Her Majesty's Sub-Inspectors of Factories, in certain populous districts where small workshops are numerous, and the present Act for their better regulation remains a dead letter, owing to the want of sufficient inspection, to carry out the provisions of the Act, or to adopt any other course?


in reply, said, he must admit that the Act was not so thoroughly enforced as he could wish in certain districts, owing largely to an unusual degree of sickness among the sub-Inspectors. He had considered various plans for remedying a failure which he hoped was only temporary; but he had not adopted the suggested appointment of local officers under the sub-Inspectors. School Boards had been elected in most populous districts, and had usually adopted the principle of compulsion. This would lead to careful inquiry into the attendance of children at schools, and he hoped the Inspectors would thus receive important co-operation. He could not judge how far this expectation would be realized; but it would be inexpedient to increase the number of Inspectors, unless it was made clearer that the present staff would be unequal to its work.