§ MR. CONYBEARE
I wish to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty a question of which I have given him private notice—namely, whether it is a fact that the Civil Adviser of the Devonport Dockyard, Mr. Wildish, has issued a notice or circular, dated 23rd March, which states—
§ "23rd March, 1892.
§ Please arrange that in future no stoppage of machinery for cleaning takes place on Saturday, the ordinary work of the yard going on till bell-ringing as on other days. Should experience show that this is prejudicial to the Service in any way, a Report is to be forwarded. This will, of course, not relieve the officers and men of responsibility for keeping the machinery thoroughly effective. Any necessary cleaning, &c, should be done from time to time as required."
§ I wish to ask him whether it is not a fact that the rule that has hitherto been in force has been that all employees should have half an hour or three-quarters of an hour for the purpose of carrying out the cleaning, and that the machinery should be stopped a given time for that purpose; whether such rule is not obligatory under the provisions of the Factory Acts, which provide that no machinery shall be cleaned whilst working; and whether, if it is found that the circular in question is a breach of the Factory Acts, it will be at once withdrawn?
§ LORD G. HAMILTON
The rule in question is one which the Admiralty Superintendent had power to issue, and, so far as I know, it does not contravene any portion of the Factory Acts, and, therefore, I do not propose to interfere in the matter.
§ MR. CONYBEARE
Will the noble Lord state whether he will cause inquiry to be made on the point whether it is a breach of the Factory Acts, and whether I am to understand that Her Majesty's Dockyard authorities are above the Factory Acts themselves?
§ [No reply was given.]