HC Deb 09 July 1885 vol 299 cc235-6

Order for Second Beading read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, that the object of this Bill was to extend to shops that provision of the Factory Acts which provided that no young person under 18 years of age should be made to work more than 12 hours a-day. He hoped the House would consent to the passing of this Bill, which he was sure would prolong the lives of many thousands of persons.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—{Sir John Lulbock.)


said, the Government were willing to assent to the Bill being read a second time on the understanding that it be referred to a Select Committee. The Government were not to be understood to pledge themselves to the principle of the Bill.


said, he thought there was some misunderstanding. He had a conference just now with the Home Secretary (Sir E. Assheton Cross) and his hon. Friend the Member for the University of London (Sir John Lubbock); and it was agreed that if the House would consent to the second reading of the Bill now, and the Committee stage was put down for Tuesday, the Government would offer no opposition. At this late hour (2 o'clock) he would not detain the House; but he endorsed what had been said by his hon. Friend (Sir John Lubbock). He had waited five hours to support the hon. Baronet, simply because he was convinced the Bill was of national importance. It affected nearly 500,000 young persons in the country who worked 13 or 15 hours a-day, and who were often kept in very unwholesome and insalubrious localities for that work. The Bill would really do charitable and good work for young persons who were not able to defend their own interests. All that was asked was that Parliament should extend the Factory Acts—the great Act of 1847, which applied solely to factories, and the Act of the right hon. Gentleman the present Home Secretary, which was passed in 1878—and by that means relieve a large number of young persons from the burdens under which they now laboured. He hoped the House would allow the Bill to be read a second time. He was convinced, on the assurance of the Home Secretary, that the Government would not offer any opposition if the Committee was fixed for Tuesday.


said, that if the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of London would fix the Committee for Tuesday the Government would offer no opposition to the second reading. The Government must, however, reserve their opinion on the subject.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Tuesday next.