§ SIR J. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to the fact that a large jute mill in the neighbourhood of Calcutta, fitted with electric light, is now working 22 out of 24 hours, daily, and that women and young persons are reported to be regularly employed through the night; whether it is lawful, under the Indian Factories Acts, for mills owned by English capitalists, and competing with similar mills in the United Kingdom, to be worked night and day with three shifts of hands; and whether, if the facts have not yet been officially reported to him, he will cause inquiries to be made with the view of requiring that all mills and factories in India shall be worked on similar conditions to those established in the United Kingdom?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. H. H. FOWLER,) Wolverhampton, E.
I have heard nothing of the fact to which my hon. Friend refers. Under the Indian Factory Acts, it is not unlawful for mills to be worked night and day with three shifts of hands; but it is not lawful for women to be employed between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless in shifts or sets specially sanctioned by the local Inspector; or for children to be 181 employed between those hours under any circumstances whatever. I will ask the Government of India to ascertain the actual facts of the case referred to by my hon. Friend, and to take steps to ensure that the law is duly enforced.
§ *SIR J. LENG
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Jute Mills Association in Calcutta yesterday passed a resolution in favour of stopping night work in these jute factories?