§ MR. DIXON-HARTLAND (Middlesex, Uxbridge)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, having regard to the loss of life by fire recently at Battersea, Fulham, Long Acre, and Westminster, he will consider the expediency of making it compulsory upon owners and proprietors of all business premises where employés sleep to provide adequate means of escape in case of fire; and whether, in view of the fact that there are simple and effective fire escapes, such as one Department of the Government have already adopted, and that "The Factory and Workshops Act, 1891," contains a clause for such provision where 40 persons are employed, he will take steps to extend this protection to cases where there are a lesser number of families and guests?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
So far as the question of my hon. Friend refers to factories, I can only say that I have no information which leads me to think that the novel and special provisions against fire contained in the Factory and Workshops Act of last Session require amendment, or that the limit of numbers which was adopted by Parliament is not sufficiently low. I should not be prepared to introduce legislation making it compulsory on the owners of all business premises where employés sleep or upon the owners of private houses where persons sleep to provide, in case of fire, means of escape determined by Statute.