§ SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Secretary for the Home Department if his attention has been called to the result of a prosecution conducted by Miss Paterson in Edinburgh against Messrs. McVitie and Price for a breach of the Factory Acts, in which, though a conviction was secured, no penalty was inflicted and no costs were allowed; whether he is aware that this result was due to the production in court of a letter written by the district inspector to Messrs. McVitie and Price, after the date of the offence, sanctioning a continuance of the practice on account of which proceedings 1192 had been taken by Miss Paterson; and what steps have been taken in the matter?
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, N., Blackpool
My attention was called to this matter at the time it occurred. It is the case that a letter was written by the district inspector which was interpreted as sanctioning a continuance of the practice for which the firm was being prosecuted. In so doing he committed an error of judgment, and, in my opinion, failed to carry out the instructions issued only a month or two before for the purpose of securing effective co-operation between the district inspectors and the lady inspectors. The Chief Inspector has dealt with the matter in a way which will, I feel sure, prevent any similar failure in future.