HC Deb 23 April 1891 vol 352 cc1169-70

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether any, and if so what, legislative action has been taken by Foreign Governments to carry out the recommendations of the Berlin Conference on labour questions; and whether any system analogous to what is known in this country as the " half-time " system .exists abroad?


In answer to my hon. Friend the information which the Government has received is at present of a somewhat imperfect character, but it would appear that no especial legislative action to carry out the recommendations of the Berlin Conference has yet been taken by Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, or Spain. In Hungary, the Sunday Rest Act, and an Act for relief of workmen incapacitated by illness have been passed. In Denmark a law stopping unnecessary and regulating necessary Sunday labour has been recently passed, and in Switzerland there has been legislation limiting the hours of railway servants. In Belgium and Switzerland laws are already in force in harmony with the principal recommendations of the Conference. From Sweden and Norway no information has yet been received. In regard to the second part of the question, systems analogous to " half-time" or in some way limiting the hours of children, are in force in .Austria, Hungary, France (partially), Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and .Switzerland. In Belgium half-time is -voluntarily introduced in several large 'businesses. In Denmark, Portugal, and Spain there appear to be no regulations as to half-time. Further and fuller details have been asked for, which, when received, I shall be glad to give my hon. Friend.