§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ New Clause—
§ (Servants in Husbandry.)
§ "Nothing in the principal Act or this Act shall render illegal a contract with a servant in husbandry for giving him food, drink, a cottage, or other allowances or privileges in addition to money wages as a remuneration for his services,"
§ —brought up, and read the first and second time.
§ MR. C. T. D. ACLAND (Cornwall, Launceston)
As there is now a larger attendance of hon. Members than when I moved this Amendment on Tuesday, I should like to state to the Committee what the object of the Amendment is— 1092 namely, that it shall not be possible to force upon any agricultural labourer that he should receive part of his wages in liquor—a custom which exists now in many parts of England. Occasionally, farmers, or agricultural employers, refuse to employ men who do not wish to take, and are not willing to take, as part of their wages a supply of intoxicating liquor. I know that I shall be largely supported by many persons, both inside and outside this House, when I say that this is a grievance which ought to be remedied. I do not know of any way of remedying it, if we allow a contract to be considered legal under which a servant in husbandry can be found drink as a part of his wages. I wish to insert, after the word "drink," the words "not being alcoholic," though, if the Committee think it better, I am willing to withdraw the word "alcoholic," and substitute the word "intoxicating." It has been said that if this Amendment is accepted, those who have been accustomed to work on this system will be very much injured. I do not think any consideration of that kind ought to blind us to the exceeding inexpediency of a custom which induces men to consume drink when otherwise they would not have done so. I do not wish to limit the power of farmers to give their labourers that which they can give them cheaper than the men could get it elsewhere—such as oatmeal, barley-meal, and so on—these things can do them no harm; but we know that the provision of intoxicating drinks very often causes the labourer to get into trouble. It is for the sake of the labourers, as well as for the sake of the farmers who are interested in the well-being of their labourers, that I move this Amendment.
§ Amendment proposed, in line 2, after "drink," insert "not being alcoholic."—(Mr. C. T. D. Acland.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir RICHARD WEBSTER) (Isle of Wight)
This Amendment is essentially a matter for the Committee to express its opinion upon, and Her Majesty's Government do not wish in any way to dictate to the Committee. When this matter was before the original Committee, the question of the agricultural labourer was expressly excluded from its Report. If 1093 the Committee thinks that the hon. Member (Mr. C. T. D. Acland) has laid before it sufficient information to enable it to decide the question that these words should be inserted, then, of course, the Committee will give its opinion. But, at the same time, I would add that I am told it is by no means clear whether the agricultural labourers, in some parts of the country, who have been accustomed to have cider and beer, would regard this Amendment in a favourable light. Whether or not the Committee thinks that temperance would be promoted by the proposed arrangement is another question. I only want to point out that whilst the object of the Bill is to insist that wages shall be paid in money and not in kind, that bargains of the kind which have been referred to by hon. Members opposite—so much pork, so much skimmed milk, and so on—shall not be forced upon the labourer, it is quite clear that the clause gives no addition to wages. It does not prevent these things being given, on the other hand, and it is for the Committee to say whether it has sufficient information before it to warrant the exclusion of gifts of alcoholic or intoxicating liquor.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
As the hon. and learned Attorney General (Sir Richard Webster) has said, this is essentially a matter for the Committee to decide. But I would wish to point out to my hon. Friend (Mr. C. T. D. Acland), that if the representations made to me are correct, the words "not being alcoholic" exclude every description of herb beer, which, I presume, is not the desire of the Mover of the Amendment. For my own part, I quite accept the interpretation of the hon. and learned Attorney General, that there is no desire on the part of the promoters of this Bill to do anything but prevent the payment of wages in anything but in money.
§ MR. C. W. GRAY (Essex, Maldon)
The hon. Member who moved this Amendment (Mr. C. T. D. Acland) said his object was to prevent farmers forcing drink upon their labourers in lieu of a money payment for their labour. But the Amendment goes very much further than that. I am quite in accord with the hon. Member that farmers should not be allowed to force beer upon their labourers; but I do not agree that we want such an Amendment as this. T would point out to the Committee that 1094 it upsets many agreements customary in many English counties—agreements which, I am sure, are entered into freely and willingly by the agricultural labourers themselves. I would point out also to the hon. Member that, if his Amendment were carried, the consequence would be that if I have a particularly strong piece of clover or of tares to be cut, and I offer my men 5s. or 6s. an acre, and they say—"That is a very strong piece, master; we will do it if you will give us some beer to boot," we should be prevented by this Amendment from coming to any arrangement of that sort. On a farm there are constantly "odd jobs," as we call them, cropping up, which have to be met by a pint of beer, and it is much better that they should be met by a pint of beer fresh from the farmer's cellars. [Laughter.] Hon. Members want to ridicule my argument before they have heard it. Will they tell me that a pint of beer fresh from the farmer's cellars is not better for the men than beer got from a public-house, which has been carried about all through a long and, probably, hot day? For the convenience of the men themselves, and in the interests of temperance, I say it is a good deal better. If farmers and labourers were accustomed to enter into bargains which were set forth in written terms, then this Amendment might act fairly well. But all the farmer's contracts with his men are merely verbal agreements. If I find one evening that the bullocks or the sheep have broken accidentally into one of my fields, and say to Tom or Dick—''Go and put them out, and if you call at the house to-morrow you shall have a pint of beer," by this Amendment, I should be putting myself in the position of having broken the law. [Mr. C. T. D. ACLAND: Hear, hear!] The hon. Member says "Hear, hear!" If he objects to that, I entirely disagree with him. There is a good old custom in many parts of the country under which, on Sunday mornings, the stock-men are allowed to come to breakfast in the farmer's kitchen, and, if they are not teetotallers, they have a pint of beer given them with it. That would also be illegal according to this Amendment. There are many other cases which I might allude to. A load of corn has to be loaded or unloaded; the men have extra hard work, and they prefer a pint of beer to 2d. or 3d, 1095 in coppers. Speaking for the Eastern Counties, I am sure if the men had an opportunity of expressing their opinion on this Amendment, they would, almost to a man, vote against it. It is not necessary for me to take up the time of the Committee longer. If the hon. Member really wants only to prevent farmers forcing beer upon their labourers in lieu of money, that point would be secured by inserting, after the word "services," the words "provided that in accepting such return for such services, the servant is a willing party to such contract." But this Amendment goes much further than that, and I am sure it will be objected to by nearly every labourer in the Eastern Counties.
§ MR. RADCLIFFE COOKE (Newington, W.)
I am sorry to say I have a farm in Herefordshire, and to the labourers on that farm I give cider, following a custom that has obtained in that county from time immemorial. It is the drink of the county, and there can be no better drink for human beings than good cider. In the course of their work, agricultural labourers sometimes get thirsty, and there is no better drink to quench that thirst than cider. This Amendment is proposed by the son of a Baronet; and when an Amendment of this kind is suggested by one of the upper classes, it finds support from hon. Baronets, like the hon. Members for Barnard Castle (Sir Joseph Pease) and Cockermouth (Sir Wilfrid Lawson), and others, who really have no experience whatever of the wants and feelings of the agricultural classes. Probably, hon. Gentlemen who promote this Amendment, when they do a day's hard work on the moors in Scotland, or over the turnip fields of England, they find they want something to drink, and consume claret, and all sorts of fine things, at their luncheon; but what is the agricultural labourer of Herefordshire to have with his luncheon if he may not have this excellent cider? His wife makes this some miserable tea—tea of the commonest, coarsest description, bought at the village shop, a beverage that hon. Gentlemen have never ventured to try. Or, I have heard it suggested by some rabid teetotallers, let them mix oatmeal and water in a bucket, and drink that, as if they were animals, not human beings. As an alternative to their miserable tea, the 1096 labourers of Herefordshire may have water. Now, water, as is well known, is a most dangerous liquid to drink, contaminated, as it often is, by the percolation of sewage into wells. In country cottages, too, it often happens that the labouring classes find a difficulty in getting water for washing, let alone for drinking. I do not suppose hon. Gentlemen who promote this Amendment know anything of the turbid liquid that labourers have to put up with. Naturally, the Hereford man takes cider; it is a practice that has been in vogue from time immemorial, and. it is a drink that does a man no harm whatever. I do not say you cannot get drunk on cider, but you must drink a great deal of it to do so. In another point of view, this Amendment is objectionable. We do make a little profit sometimes from agriculture—not much; and in the county I am speaking of, we make a little profit from the sale of cider. It is true, however, that there are persons so abandoned that they, by this drink, make a profit also as regards its consumption in the surrounding districts. They come from Gloucester, Shropshire, and Worcester to buy this drink to give their labourers; and so the producers make a little money that way. Do you grudge us this one of our little sources of profit, hon. Gentlemen and Baronets who will not drink cider? You, when you wish to slake your thirst, order hock, claret, Burgundy, and other expensive drinks, when you would be better advised if you ordered cider. I could supply you with it, and assure you it is a first-class drink. There is no reasonable ground for this prohibition. We have always been in the habit of giving cider on our farms; and if you say we shall not do so from this time forth, wages will remain exactly the same; though the men will feel the deprivation, they will be glad to stay. Practically, the cider is a gift to them, and a custom farmers are not likely to interrupt. Unless this House intervenes in this improper way, they will continue to supply this drink—a better drink than anything else that can be obtained.
§ MR. FINCH-HATTON (Lincolnshire, Spalding)
At the risk of being stigmatized as a Baronet by my hon. Friend, I must say that I quite sympathize with the speech, though not with 1097 the Amendment, of the hon. Member opposite (Mr. C. D. T. Acland). He said it was possible, as matters now stood, to force upon agricultural labourers, against their will, drink instead of wages. Now, I go with the hon. Member in his wish to remove that possibility; and if his Amendment of the clause did that only, I should support him; but, as an hon. Member said just now, the speech does one thing, but the Amendment does quite another thing. As hon. Members are aware, this proposal makes it illegal to give alcoholic drink at all as part of a contract. Now, if we go into the minutiæ of farming, my experience bears out that of the hon. Member who has spoken near me, and I might as well expect my thrashing machine to work without oil, as to expect to get an extra amount of work done in an emergency without a glass of beer. It is this glass of beer that often gets over just the turning point of a difficult day's work, in a manner satisfactory to both labourer and employer, and neither is the worse for the giving or receiving it. I trust that the hon. Member will see his way to accept the Amendment suggested from below the Gangway, which will carry out the spirit of his speech, and prevent this being made a condition of employment against the will of the agricultural labourer. On the other hand, I may remind the Committee that the same hon. Member (Mr. C. T. D. Acland) has a Bill dealing with this special question, and I think it would be much better to leave this point to be dealt with as a matter of principle in such a Bill, than to attempt to deal with it thus by a side wind. I make the admission from experience of the constituency I represent, that public opinion is making strides in the direction of it being undesirable that wages should be given in beer, to the extent it has been; but I believe that public opinion will be crushed and held back by any premature attempt of the Committee to introduce a provision of this kind, interfering unnecessarily with freedom of contract. It would be in harmony with the spirit of the speech of the hon. Member for Launceston, if the arrangement were legal where both parties agree.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
I do not wish to abridge this very interesting discussion, but I would point 1098 out that whether the clause stands with or without the Amendment, does not affect the matter at all. Intoxicating drink can equally be given, whether the Amendment is inserted or not. Having said that, it will be seen that this discussion, however interesting, has no legal value whatever.
§ MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)
I will not follow the discussion on the qualities and relative merits of beer and cider, as to which hon. Members who have spoken are probably better judges than I. The hon. Member opposite (Mr. Gray) has, however, made the statement that agricultural labourers prefer to be rewarded with beer instead of money; but that does not square with the experience I have gathered from a long residence among the agricultural population. I think Hodge is too acute, and knows better than to accept a pint of very small beer in lieu of the pence referred to. The opportunity is scarcely ever offered him to decide between 3d. and a pint of very small beer. 0I would suggest to the hon. Member to make the experiment the next time, when Hodge performs similar labour. Let him offer 3d. with one hand, and the pint of small beer with the other, and I think he will find that Hodge has a very great appreciation of the value of the two forms of remuneration. The hon. Member for West Newington (Mr. Radcliffe Cooke) referred to the quality of the water in agricultural villages, and I am unfortunately able to bear him out in his description. I have been in the cottages of labourers, and unfortunately compelled to drink the wretched water which is provided the labourers by the squires and landlords of the kingdom. I have frequently seen the water fetched from ponds in the neighbourhood of cottages, no wells having being provided by the landlords. I do not say the object was to drive the labourers to the public-house; but that has been the effect. I have seen water brought into the cottages from the ponds full of life; and this is the water the labourers and their families have to drink. The hon. Member for West Newington is perfectly correct in his description of the fluid that a large proportion of the agricultural labouring class are compelled to drink, through the shameful neglect of the landlords and farmers. My object in rising, was 1099 however, to ask the hon. Member, who has charge of the Bill (Mr. Bradlaugh), whether the clause has reference exclusively to out-door servants?
§ MR. BRADLAUGH
It extends to all persons to whom the Employers and "Workmen's Act extends. All their wages are to be paid in current coin of the Realm. This discussion only applies to gifts in addition to that, and does not affect the principle.
§ MR. CREMER
I am glad to have that explanation. I will not occupy time further than to suggest to the hon. Member who brought forward this Amendment, that he should substitute the word "intoxicating" for "alcoholic," it would then shut out the possibility of contention in regard to herb beer, ginger beer, and other beverages which are said to contain some alcohol, in relation to which there has been considerable discussion, especially in the Midland Counties. The word "intoxicating" would get rid of the difficulty.
§ MR. C. T. D. ACLAND
I shall be glad to withdraw the word "alcoholic" and substitute "intoxicating."
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment proposed, in line 2, after the word "drink," to insert the words "not being intoxicating."—(Mr. C. T.D. Acland.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. FENWICK (Northumberland, Wansbeck)
From a very lengthened experience of the working classes, I can say that those who oppose the introduction of the words of my hon. Friend (Mr. C. T. D. Acland) do not do so in the interest of the working classes. From my own experience, I can testify to the great injury done to the working classes by giving them alcoholic drink. Nothing tends more to the demoralization of the working classes than taking intoxicating drink; and I have no doubt that those who are first to give such drink lay the basis of the demoralization and degradation of the class and their families, and will be the first, when labourers show signs of intoxication, to dismiss them from employment. I would like to inform the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Finch-Hatton), who talked about a field of clover being hard work, that wages sweeten labour, and he will find 1100 that labourers will prefer to have the price of the beer to having the beer itself. No man who knows the evils drink has wrought will hesitate about rather giving money value for services, encouraging the labourer to hold the principles of temperance and sobriety. Within my own experience I have known cases where persons have been engaged to do work, for which part payment was given in drink, and when this was refused the wages were reduced. This is is a thing that ought not to be tolerated; we should do all that lies in our power to encourage the labouring classes to become sober and thrifty, and there is no greater enemy to thrift than the habits of drinking intoxicating drink.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. W. H. LONG) (Wilts, Devizes)
I am anxious as a county Member to express my sympathy with the view of the hon. Member who moved this Amendment (Mr. C. T. D. Acland). It is, we must all allow, very desirable in the interests of labourers and farmers that, as much as possible, the practice should be stopped of paying wages in any degree in liquor. But while I accept that view, I must point out that the Amendment goes considerably beyond that view, upsetting a custom that has existed for a considerable time, and which has been accepted by labourers themselves under conditions where it was not carried out to the detriment of the labourers. There are cases, if we accept the authority of those who have spoken from the other side, where labourers have been encouraged to drink to excess, and everybody will deplore that; but I think those who are cognizant of the habits of agricultural labourers will agree with me that it is not to the interest of the farmer, any more than it is to that of the labourer, that the latter should drink to excess. But whatever may be said by the hon. Member who has just spoken (Mr. Fenwick), those having experience of farming operations well know that there are times when the assistance of beer, in moderation and of good quality, stimulates the men to get through quickly with a piece of work in a way that the payment of money afterwards would not effect. I mention that as a fact within my personal experience. If the result of Amendment would be to prevent the farmer or the employer from 1101 forcing upon his men alcoholic liquor, when they would prefer to have money, then I should be glad to vote for it; but as it goes so far beyond that, and will, if carried, prevent any payments in kind, even where such are the accepted customs of the country I must vote against it.
An hon. MEMBER
The clause will merely prohibit the giving drink as part of a contract. In cases referred to on the other side, in which it was thought to be an advantage to give drink to stimulate men to further exertion, this clause will not interfere. The clause simply says that parties shall not enter into a contract, by which a servant shall receive intoxicating drink as part of his wages; but it does not in any way interfere with the giving of drink to labourers on an occasion of special service under trying conditions.
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
I do not understand why the hon. Member (Mr. Stuart-Wortley) should have moved this clause, which allows drink, as one of the terms of a contract by which a man may be hired.
§ DR. CLARK
The hon. Member, in altering the word from "alcoholic" to intoxicating, has not made a scientific change. It is the alcohol only that is intoxicating; I think, however, it would be unwise to allow the clause to stand, for it will permit a farmer to pay part of his wages in drink. As there are a great number of labourers who are not drinkers of beer or cider, or, even in my own country, of whisky, they will be compelled to accept lower wages practically not taking part in drink. It cannot be too often repeated that if, instead of taking beer and cider, that are the causes of disease and premature death, a man took cocoa and other beverages that do not intoxicate and do not cause disease, he would have a healthier, longer life. Total abstainers live longer than even moderate drinkers. I support the Amendment now; but I shall oppose the clause as being altogether unnecessary.
§ MAJOR RASCH (Essex, S. E.)
Because I represent an agricultural constituency, I feel bound to oppose the Amendment of the hon. Member for Launceston (Mr. C. T. D. Acland), and I am certain its adoption will be prejudicial to agricultural interests. We pay our agricultural labourers £7 10s. in money to £1 5s. in black beer; and the result of the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman will be, that farmers will have to give up that old-established custom, and if they pay their men in money entirely, the men will be driven to buy beer at a higher price at the pothouse. Surely, the hon. Member does not suppose he is going to make agricultural labourers teetotallers by Act of Parliament.
§ SIR WALTER FOSTER
It is desirable that we should have this one point cleared up by an authoritative statement from the hon. and learned Attorney General—namely, Will this Amendment prevent the gift of drink? I strongly support the remarks that have been made from below the Gangway by the hon. Member for Caithness (Dr. Clark), for the fallacies supported by the other side cannot receive contradiction too often. There is no advantage in the use of alcoholic liquors for the purpose stated. Alcoholic liquor does not give strength, and no man works the better, or the longer for it. This has been practically proved in the Army, and the fact has been demonstrated over and over again by physiologists. It will be a great advantage to the labourer and his family if we carry this Amendment. If a man is paid in money even so small sum as 1d. or 2d. that money will go to benefit the family, instead of being used for the gratification of an appetite that ought not to be encouraged.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir RICHARD WEBSTER) (Isle of Wight)
In answer to the Question asked, I can only repeat what the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh) has already said—that the clause, as it stands, does not touch the question of simple gifts of drink. It allows the farmer to make the contract for payment, partly in money and partly in food, drink, or a cottage or residence. The Amendment moved prevents the drink being of an intoxicating character; but gifts as an incentive to extra 1103 exertion would be outside the clause altogether.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 112; Noes 101: Majority 11.—(Div. List, No. 111.)
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
If the spirit of this measure is to be carried into effect, Sir, I think that this clause is unnecessary. I should like to see its spirit carried out thoroughly and fully towards agricultural as well as other labourers. As the hon. and learned Member for North Longford (Mr. T. M. Healy) has pointed out, the conditions prevailing in the Three Kingdoms are very different, circumstances suitable for persons in one place may do harm if applied in another district. Still, if the English agricultural labourer is not yet prepared for the full application to his case of the principle of this Act, I will not press my objection. I do, however, strongly object to the application of this clause to Scotland.
An hon. MEMBER
Before the clause is finally agreed to, may I suggest to the hon. Member for the Hallam Division of Sheffield (Mr. Stuart-Wortley) the desirability of further amending it, by adding the words "or fuel?" I think it would be an advantage if he would do so.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Clause added to the Bill.
§ On the Motion of MR. STUART-WORTUEY, the following New Clauses agreed to, and added to the Bill:—
§ "If any employer or his agent contravenes or fails to comply with any of the foregoing provisions of this Act, such employer shall be guilty of an offence against the principal Act, and shall be liable to the penalties imposed by section nine of that Act, as if the offence were such an offence as in that section mentioned.
§ (Fine on person committing offence for which employer is liable, and power of employer to exempt himself from penalty on conviction of the actual offender.)
§ "(1.) Where an offence for which an employer is, by virtue of the principal Act or this 1104 Act, liable to a penalty has in fact been committed by some agent of the employer or other person, such agent or other person shall be liable to the same penalty as if he were the employer.
§ "(2.) Where an employer is charged with an offence against the principal Act or this Act he shall he entitled, upon information duly laid by him, to have any other person whom he charges as the actual offender brought before the court at the time appointed for hearing the charge, and if, after the commission of the offence has been proved, the employer proves to the satisfaction of the court that he had used duo diligence to enforce the execution of the said Acts, and that the said other person had committed the offence in question without his knowledge, consent, or connivance, the said other person shall be summarily convicted of such offence, and the employer shall be exempt from any penalty.
§ "When it is made to appear to the satisfaction of an inspector of factories or mines, or in Scotland a procurator fiscal at the time of discovering the offence that the employer had used duo diligence to enforce the execution of the said Acts, and also by what person such offence had been committed, and also that it had been committed without the knowledge, consent, or connivance of the employer, then the inspector or procurator fiscal shall proceed against the person whom he believes to be the actual offender in the first instance without first proceeding against the employer.
§ (Recovery of penalties.)
§ "Any offence against the principal Act or this Act may be prosecuted, and any penalty therefore recovered in manner provided by the Summary Jurisdiction Acts, so, however, that no penalty shall be imposed on summary conviction exceeding that prescribed by the principal Act for a second offence.
§ (Procedure in England. Prosecution.)
§ "(1.) It shall be the duty of the inspectors of factories and the inspectors of mines to enforce the provisions of the principal Act and this Act within their districts so far as respects factories, workshops, and mines inspected by them respectively, and such inspectors shall for this purpose have the same powers and authorities as they respectively have for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of any Acts relating to factories, workshops, or mines, and all expenses incurred by them under this section shall be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament;
§ (Application of penalties.)
§ "(2.) In England all penalties recovered under the principal Act and this Act shall be paid into the receipt of Her Majesty's Exchequer, and be carried to the Consolidated Fund."
§ New Clause—
§ (Procedure in Scotland.)
(1.) The procurators fiscal of the sheriff court shall, as part of their official duty, investigate and prosecute offences against the principal Act or this Act, and such prosecution
may also be instituted in the sheriff court at the instance of any inspector of factories or inspector of mines;
(2.) All offences against the said Acts shall be prosecuted in the sheriff court,"—(Mr. Stuart-Wortley,)
—brought up, and read a first time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ DR. CLARK
I think that these provisions require consideration, at any rate as far as the county I represent is concerned. In many places there, the Procurator Fiscal acts as the agent or factor of the landlord. The Procurator Fiscal is the official directed to investigate breaches of the law. Is he to investigate offences committed on the property for which he is agent? Somebody else surely ought to do that.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH
That has already been provided for, by enacting in another part of the clause that the prosecution may also be instituted by the Inspector of Factories, or the Inspector of Mines.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Clause agreed to, and added to the Bill.
§ On the Motion of Mr. STITART-WORTLEY, the following Clause brought up, and read a first and second time.
"In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—
The expression 'Summary Jurisdiction Acts' means, as respects England, the Summary Jurisdiction Acts as denned by the 'Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1879;' and, as respects Scotland, means the Summary Jurisdiction (Scotland) Acts, 1861 and 1881, and any Acts amending the same:
Other expressions have the same meaning as in the principal Act.
In line 5, to add—"The expression 'Truck' shall mean the payment of wages in goods or otherwise than in the current coin of the realm."—(Mr. Tomlinson.)
§ MR. D. CRAWFORD (Lanarkshire, N.E.)
I should like to know the opinion of the hon. and learned Attorney General upon this. So far as I know, the word "Truck" does not occur either in the principal Act or in this Bill. While the proposed definition may be correct enough as a sort of rough definition of trunk, various enactments both in the principal Act and in this Bill 1106 go considerably beyond prohibiting the payment of wages other than in the current coin of the Realm. For instance, the Act prohibits any stipulation by which wages are to be spent in any particular way.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENEEAL (Sir RICHARD WEBSTER) (Isle of Wight)
My impression is, that there is no objection to the clause; but it was only put on the Paper this morning. I do not think the definition will interfere with any express enactment with regard to particular contracts in the principal Bill. I think the definition is not objectionable.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to, and added to the Bill.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.