HC Deb 15 March 1894 vol 22 cc338-9
MR. DIAMOND (Monaghan, N.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there are any Rules for the guidance of Assistant Labour Commissioners as to the nature of statements made to them by witnesses, and which ought or ought not to be inserted in their Reports presented to this House; whether complaints alleged to have been made by a mill manager at Port Glasgow, and set out on page 193 of the Reports of the Lady Assistant Commissioners dealing with the employment of women, in which 1,500 women workers in Mill 54 are stated to be chiefly low class Irish, who are intemperate and immoral, should have been admitted, seeing that further on in the Report the Assistant Commissioner states that she saw no evidence of the immorality alleged; and what steps are taken to verify statements made to the Assistant Commissioners before these statements are printed and circulated?


I am informed by the Chairman of the Labour Commission that, so far as he is aware, it has not been the practice to make any Rules for the guidance of Assistant Commissioners as to the nature of the statements made by witnesses which are to be included in their Reports. The senior Lady Assistant Commissioner was entrusted by the Commission with the duty of supervising generally the Reports of the Assistant Commissioners, and it is believed that this duty has been satisfactorily performed. It is impossible for the Commission as a body to investigate the reliability of the evidence given to the Lady Assistant Commissioners.


Is there any remedy open to persons who feel themselves aggrieved by these statements?


I am not in a position to answer that question.