§ Mr. CUNINGHAME GRAHAM (Lanark, N.W.)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India if Her Majesty's Government contemplates introducing any legislation restricting the hours of labour in the cotton mills of Bombay and India generally; and if any regulations are to be issued connected with the inspection of mines in India, or are any Inspectors to be appointed? I wish further to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether his attention has been directed to the statement contained in page 124 of a recent Return supplied by the East India Company, in which it is said that it would be a great boon to those employed to have their hours of labour restricted, and Sunday labour got rid of altogether?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Sir JOHN GORST, Chatham)
Yes, Sir; the attention of my noble Friend the Secretary of State has been directed to the Return referred to. In reply to the Question upon the Paper, I have to say that the existing Factory Act and the proposed Amendments restrict the hours of labour for women and children in Indian factories. They do not regulate the hours of labour for adult males. The Secretary of State in July last asked the Government of India to consider the regulation of labour in mines, and the inspection thereof. It will be considered whether officers of the Geological Survey cannot 118 for the present undertake the duty of inspection, so as to obviate the appointment of special Inspectors.