HC Deb 13 April 1893 vol 11 cc196-7
MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of an inquest held on the death of a work-girl, Delilah Figgins, at Guy's Hospital, lately employed by Messrs. Pink, jam manufacturers, Bermondsey, and of the fact pressed at the inquest that this firm, with others, confine their employés within their works during meal hours; and if he will at once take steps to prevent a recurrence of this practice?


From the verdict given at the inquest, it appears that Delilah Figgins died from blood poisoning caused by an accidental blow on the knee previous to her employment at Messrs. Pink, and not from the inhalation of the vapour from putrid oranges. Mr. Henderson, one of Her Majesty's Superintending Inspectors, has visited the factory of Messrs. Pink, and reports that, in his opinion, the establishment appears in all respects to be well regulated. I understand that up to a few days ago it was the rule that the women employed in the factory were kept in during the dinner hour unless they obtained special permission to go out, but I am now informed that arrangements have been made by Messrs. Pink to allow them to leave the factory during meal times without making special application for permission to do so. I trust that other firms will follow their example.


Cannot the right hon. Gentleman at once see his way, under Clause 65 of the Factory Act of 1878, to compel all owners of factories in London to allow the girls and women employed in them to go out during meal times? Mr. Pink was induced by myself to allow this to be done.


I must ask for notice of this question.