§ MR. W. J. CORBET (Wicklow, E.)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he will inquire as to the facts stated in The Lancet of the 14th instant, in regard to the "Sweating dens" of Liverpool, Manchester, and other places, in connection with the tailoring trade, with a view to some means being devised by Government intervention to ameliorate the condition of the victims of the system, especially with reference to the unsanitary places in which they have to live and work?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
I am informed by the Chief Inspector of Factories that his attention had been called to this article, and that the principal evils alleged are beyond the control of the Inspector of Factories under the existing law. A waistcoat maker, somewhat answering the description given in The Lancet, has recently been discovered, and immediate steps have been taken to remove some of the girls to other rooms. But the migration of the sweaters from one street to another makes it very difficult in many cases for the Inspectors to discover their whereabouts, and to secure the enforcement of the law. As the hon. Member is aware, the question is now engaging the ottention of a Select Committee; and after their Report has been received it will be for the consideration of the Government whether, by legislation or otherwise, the evil complained of can be ameliorated.