§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
asked Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the breaches of the Truck Act by Messrs. Marcus Ward and Company (Limited), which are now taking place in Belfast, in that deductions for the Royal Ulster Works Sick and Accident Fund are being compulsorily made, no agreement in writing authorizing the deductions having been signed by the workmen, and no audit of deductions having taken place; whether it is true that no meeting of members of the Royal Ulster Sick and Accident Fund has taken place for upwards of 10 years; whether the whole of such deductions from the wages of the men, though nominally made for the fund, are actually retained by the said Marcus Ward and Company (Limited); whether this is without any cash statement or statement of assets and liabilities having been for many years communicated to 886 the men; and, whether any steps will be taken to enforce the law?
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN) (Dublin University)
As the result of inquiries, I have ascertained that the matter has been investigated and reported on by the Inspector of Factories for the district. This officer is under the Home Office, and the matter is within the control of that Department. It has been reported that the provisions of the Truck Acts have not been complied with, but that the offence is believed to have been unwittingly committed; that the Directors, their attention having been called to the matter, are ready to set it right at once; and, further, that the fund is indebted to Messrs. Marcus Ward and Company at the present time. With reference to the last paragraph of the Question, I must point out that further inquiries should be addressed to the Home Secretary, the matter being within his Department.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH
I understand that a Report has been made to the right hon. Gentleman's Department. Will the right hon. Gentleman ascertain what information is in his Department, and take care that the law is enforced?