HC Deb 07 April 1891 vol 352 cc8-9
MR. COBB (Warwick, S.E., Rugby)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware-that, in filling up the Census Papers, difficulty has been very generally experienced as to the columns headed ' employer " and " employed "; whether he can state in general terms, in order to assist the enumerators in completing their work, what is intended to be included in the expressions trade or industry; and whether (to give instances) a stockbroker employing clerks, or a married woman carrying on a farm for her own separate profit or loss, should be marked as "employers," and a bank clerk should be marked as. "employed? "


I am not myself aware that difficulty has been generally experienced in filling up the columns headed "employer" and "employed" in the Census Paper. I may, however, say that the question of the hon. Member comes rather late, inasmuch as the Census Papers have now been filled up by the householder. It is for the householder, and not for the enumerator, to determine whether a particular person comes within the classes referred to. The particular instances, however, mentioned in the question do not appear to me to present any difficulty. A stockbroker employing clerks, and a married woman carrying on a farm on her own account, and employing labourers would clearly be employers, and a bank clerk should be regarded as employed.


May I ask whether it is the duty of the enumerators to go through the papers, and if they see anything on the face of a Return that is incorrect to return it to the householder so that it may be amended? There is a general impression that that is part of the enumerator's duty.


My own impression is that that is no part of the enumerator's duty to do so. At the time he collects the paper if he sees that there is anything wrong he may have the power to correct it at the time, but I do not think that, having taken it away, he has any power to return with it.