HC Deb 23 April 1895 vol 32 c1496
MR. S. WOODS (Lancashire, Ince)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that Messrs. Waterlow and Sons Limited, Printers of the Parliamentary Reports, are employing, in connection with this department, boys and young men up to the age of 18 years, and paying wages only at the rate of 10s. per week; that such boys and young men are working as much as two days and a night at a time without any rest, and that for the night work of 13 hours they are only paid 3½d. per hour; whether the firm, in the printing of the Debates are paying the Trade Union rate of wages to the machine labourers employed upon the Government work; is he aware that these conditions of work and rates of wages are strongly objected to by the Printers' Labourers' Union, which Union is recognised by the Employers' Printers' Association; and whether, with a view of giving satisfaction, he will cause an investigation to be made as to the accuracy of these statements.


My hon. Friend's question has been referred to Messrs. Waterlow, whose reply is as follows:— The printing of 'The Parliamentary Debates' is done by Printers who are paid the Union rate of wages, assisted, as is customary throughout the entire trade, by boys, who do the laying-on only, at the rate of 10s. to 16s. per week. Men are not employed laying-on on these machines, they being too small to require adult labour. With regard to the statement that they worked 'two days and a night without rest,' this is untrue; and, indeed, the Factory Inspector takes care that the boys do not work after seven o'clock, except by special permission, and then only 48 times in one year. I may add that, if my hon. Friend is not satisfied that the reply of Messrs. Water-low is in accordance with the spirit of the Resolution of the House in regard to Government work, I will be glad to make further inquiries.