HC Deb 01 April 1890 vol 343 cc399-400

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has had any Reports from the Factory Inspectors of the Bristol District in regard to the engine having been repeatedly run overtime at the Great Western Cotton Works in Bristol; if he would make inquiries in order to avert a strike amongst the female operatives in those works; whether he is aware that last autumn an agreement was entered into by the Directors of the Works that the engine would be stopped at 8.30 a.m. to 9 a.m. for breakfast; from 1 to 2 p.m. for dinner; and finally at 5.30 evening, as the operatives complain that in every instance this agreement is not complied with; can he explain why these hours, which are those stipulated by Act of Parliament, have been broken; whether complaints have reached him that on Friday, 21st of March, the Chief Inspector and Sub-Inspector called at the factory, but confined their inspection to walking-through two weaving sheds, and that, as soon as the Inspectors left, steam was put on, and the engine ran overtime; if the Inspector notified the manager of his visit; and, if so, why; and why, with the excessive heat and dust that prevails in these works, no preparation has been made for the application of "The Cotton Cloth Factories Act, 1889,"which came into operation 1st March, 1890?


I have not yet been placed in possession of the necessary information to enable me to answer all the questions of fact. I have received no Reports as to the engine running overtime, and no complaints as to the visits of the Chief Inspector. The Chief Inspector has been, and is, visiting several towns in connection with the carrying out of the provisions of the Cotton Cloth Factories Act, and, amongst other places, has paid a special visit to Bristol. Inquiries will be made as to the statements in the hon. Member's question