HC Deb 26 February 1891 vol 350 cc1690-1
MR.LENG (Dundee)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any power at present to appoint female Inspectors of factories and workshops; and, if not, whether he will consider the expediency of acquiring such power, in view of the Return issued by the Home Office in July last, showing that out of 1,084,361 persons employed in mills and factories in the United Kingdom as many as 656,549 are females; and there are important sanitary and other matters respecting which female workers would prefer to communicate withn Ispectors of their own sex?


Yes, Sir; the existing Act gives me the power to appoint female Inspectors in factories and workshops, but there are strong objections to its exercise on the grounds of administration, economy, and practicability. I cannot in the space of an answer to a question explain these objections. I shall be happy to discuss the matter with the hon. Member, but I may may point out that by the Bill now, before the House the sanitary supervision of workshops will be made over to the Local Authorities.