§ MR. SHERIDAN
asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether he is aware of the prevalence of the truck system in the Midland Counties, particularly amongst the nailers and rivet-makers; and, whether he will consider the propriety of instituting an inquiry into the system and its results?
MR. ASSHETON CROSS,
in reply, said, that the matter was inquired into by a Departmental Commission in 1871, and they found that, to a considerable extent, the system did exist among the nailers and rivet-makers. He need not say that the practice was injurious, and undoubtedly illegal; but the present law, though defective, was sufficient to put down its worst abuses, if those concerned would only come forward. There was no reason to suppose that inquiry Would throw any more light on the subject.
§ MR. MUNDELLA
asked the right hon. Gentleman, Who instructed the Inspectors to inquire into the subject?
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
said, he had instructed the Chief Inspector of Factories to do all that he could; but he 725 found, on consultation with that gentleman, that there was great difficulty in getting people to give evidence, lest they should lose their work.