HC Deb 15 December 1893 vol 19 cc1499-500
MR. M. AUSTIN (Limerick, W.)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been directed to the case of a man named Peter Sharkey, a fireman in the employment of the Great Northern Railway (Ireland), who committed suicide; if he is aware that at the inquest it was shown the deceased worked on an average 14 hours per day, and even after these prolonged hours of work he was put to shunting, but broke down through physical exhaustion; and that the coroner's jury were unanimous in their condemnation of the excessive number of hours worked by the employees on the Great Northern line; whether he is also aware that a system prevails on this railway of subordinates giving presents to their superior officers with a view of getting promotion, and the failure of the deceased to comply with this practice made him obnoxious to his overseers; and will an investigation be made into the foregoing statements, and steps taken of protecting the lives of the men in the service of the Great Northern Railway?


I have received from a Member of this House a newspaper account of the inquest referred to by the hon. Member, which I have treated as a representation within the meaning of the Railway Regulation Act, 1893. Yesterday I directed an Inspecting Officer to inquire into that representation.