§ MR. HENRY WILSON (Yorkshire, W. R., Holmfirth)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that on the 23rd April, 1888, a woman and a girl were killed and another girl seriously injured at New Mill, near Huddersfield, by unfenced shafting connected with a factory, but working in gardens; whether an inquest was held at the Huddersfield Infirmary, five miles from New Mill, on the 26th April; whether he is aware that although the coroner's jury could, for a shilling each, have visited New Mill, they did not inspect the shafting, nor was any plan or drawing produced at the inquest; whether he is aware that the Inspector of Factories, Mr. Prior, is reported as having stated at the inquest—On the 4th of August, when he last visited this mill, there was no shafting there; he then received no intimation of any intention to put up anything of the kind, nor had he since received any information of its being erected.… I have visited this mill once. I have been two years and a-half in this district, and there are lots of places I have not been able to get to for the first time yet;whether owners of factories are responsible for accidents arising from shafting outside factories as well as inside; whether it is a fact that Mr. Prior has 566 some 3,200 factories and workshops in his district; and whether it is usual for an Inspector to have the oversight of so large a number of factories and workshops?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS,) Birmingham, E.
I am informed by the Chief Inspector of Factories that the facts are as stated in the first four paragraphs. Owners are responsible for accidents to persons employed in the factories for shafts and other machinery required by the Act to be securely fenced, either within the factory premises, or within the close or cartilage of such premises. The persons referred to in the Question were not employed in the factory, and were alleged to be trespassers at the spot where the accident happened. According to the last Return, the number of factories in this district is 1,918. It is a comparatively small district, and is conveniently situated.
§ MR. BROADHURST (Nottingham)
May I ask if the Return includes the number of workshops; and whether the Government have considered the desirability of increasing the number of Inspectors?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
Yes; I understand that the Inspector General includes both factories and workshops. I have drawn the attention of the Treasury to the necessity of increasing the staff of Inspectors.
§ MR. MATTHEWS
The increase has been two. They are not attached to any district, but their services are available wherever they are wanted.