§ MR. BROADHURST
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is any part of the duty of the Chief Inspector of Factories and Workshops, or of the Assistant Inspectors acting under him, to report on and criticise the rules and the action of trade societies, as has been done on pp. 28 to 37 in the Report for 1879, when such rules and action do not in any way interfere with the administration of the Factories and Workshops Act; and, if it is no part of their duty, whether he will take steps to prevent the publication in future Reports of statements and opinions hostile to trade unions given by employers and others, to which statements and opinions the societies have no corresponding means of reply?
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT,
in reply, said, it had always been the custom for the Inspectors of Factories to report upon the causes affecting the condition of trades, and in the discharge of that duty it was simply impossible altogether to avoid reference to the circumstances affecting the conduct both of employers and employed. If this were done with an evident prejudice on either side, it would obviously be very objectionable. As far as he had been able to judge from the Report referred to, that did not appear to have been the case. Whilst, on the one hand, the Report referred to the unfavourable effect of trade rules on the glass trade, the Report also reflected upon the injurious effects of the truck system. He should say that in those Reports, as far as possible, controversial matters should be avoided; but in the present case he saw no ground for imputing improper bias.