HC Deb 30 March 1896 vol 39 c365
MR. W. HAZELL (Leicester)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, whether his attention has been called to an inquest held at Leicester on the 16th inst. upon the body of G. W. Lewin, at which it transpired that the deceased, though aged only 13 years, was regularly employed on 10 hours' night duty as goods telegraph messenger at the Midland Station, Leicester, and in the course of carrying messages amongst the goods trains was killed by the shunting of some trucks, and also to the opinion expressed by the coroner and the jury, that boys ought not to be engaged on such dangerous duty, either by night or by day; whether he can state how many boys are so employed upon the railways of the United Kingdom; whether he is aware that the Post Office has for some years discontinued employing boys on delivering telegrams after 8 p.m., and employs men instead; and, whether he will issue a circular to the Railway Companies advising them to follow the example of the Post Office?


I had ordered an inquiry into the case referred to before the hon. Member's Question appeared on the Paper. When the Report is received the Board of Trade will consider what course should be adopted. I have no information as to the number of boys employed on railways. The Midland inform me, however, that in future night duty shall not be performed by a youth less than 16 years of age.