HC Deb 11 June 1896 vol 41 cc837-8

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his attention has been drawn to the statement by Her Majesty's Inspector in Preston (in the Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Factories and Workshops issued during this week) that a large number of accidents have happened through shuttles flying out of looms; and to a further statement by Mr. Birtwistle that he has had considerable difficulty in obtaining the adoption of shuttle-guards, only a few hundreds probably being affixed out of about 170,000 looms in the Blackburn district; and to the further statement by Mr. Tucker (of Bolton) that notwithstanding the prominence given to the necessity of shuttle-guards during the last twelve years, there are to-day thousands of looms running without guards; and, whether, in view of the cheapness of various forms of guards, he will put pressure on the inspectors in the districts concerned to enforce the adequate protection of the workers by insisting on guards being applied to all looms?


I have seen the statements referred to in the Question. The inspectors fully recognise the importance of shuttle-guards, and have done their best to secure their adoption by employers—in some districts with considerable success. Further progress is stopped for the present by a recent decision of the Recorder of Blackburn, quashing a conviction obtained against certain manufacturers for neglecting to fence the shuttles in their looms. The decision has been appealed against, but the appeal has not yet come before the High Court.