HC Deb 05 June 1888 vol 326 c1180
MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether his attention has been drawn to a case heard in the Shoreditch County Court on May 15, from the report of which it appears that Messrs. Lion Brothers, boot manufacturers, of Phipps Street, Finsbury, compel their workmen in the slack season to sign an agreement, which is, in substance, as follows:— We, the lasters and finishers, agree to deposit 2s. 6d. a-week, to be deducted from our wages weekly from this date, for 12 months, and, should we leave before that time, we forfeit that money to Lion Brothers; and, whether such a contract is legal; and, if so, whether the Government will consider the advisability of amending the law?


My attention had not been called to the case until the Question appeared on the Paper this morning; and I have not been able in the time to obtain information as to the accuracy of the statements therein contained. The question whether a contract embodying the terms referred to is legal depends upon the circumstances under which it was made. But it by no means follows that under such a contract the master would have the right of obtaining the total amount, as in some cases his remedy might be for damages only. As at present advised, I do not consider that any alteration of the law is necessary.