HC Deb 05 May 1890 vol 344 cc145-6
MR. HOWORTH (Salford, S.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether children are allowed to work in Indian cotton factories at seven years of age, and to be kept at work for nine hours per day, also whether it is the case that there are no restrictions whatever affecting the employment of young persons over 12 years of age or of women in regard to the number of hours during which they may work; and whether, in view of the fact that the Berlin Labour Conference recommended that children should not be admitted to work in any industry under 12 years of age, and then only for six hours per day till they were 14, that young persons from 14 to 16 years of age should not work more than 10 hours per day, and that women should in no case work more than 11 hours per day, Her Majesty's Government propose to take any steps to bring the Factory Law in India into conformity with the Berlin standard?


The existing Factory Law of India is correctly stated in the question. A Bill has been introduced which is not yet passed, raising the age at which children can be employed to 9, and restricting the hours of labour of women to 11. The Secretary of State will send the Resolutions of the Berlin Conference to the Government of India, and will commend them to the careful consideration of that Government, in connection with the proposed amendment of the Factory Law.


Will any proposal by the Government of India for the amendment of the Factory Law come before this House before it is adopted by the Council of India?


No, Sir; I do not suppose it will be brought before the House.