HC Deb 04 July 1898 vol 60 c936
MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to a circular of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company, forbidding railway servants in their employ to be collectors for any book, watch, or sick club, and to a circular of the London and South-Western Railway Company, requiring railway servants in their employ to state whether they are members of more than one friendly society, and if so, to give the amount of allowance from each separately, and to the demand by the inspectors to see the club cards of railway servants; and whether these attempts to interfere with the free right of their employees to join and take part in the working of friendly societies, and to extort information from them is legal; and, if so, whether he will introduce or support legislation securing to workmen in this and similar conditions the full right to join in any combination or make any provision for future emergencies at their own discretion without interference?


I have not heard of these circulars otherwise than through the honourable Member's Question. I have already stated that it appears to me, after considering the matter very carefully, that there should be in the first instance, an inquiry into the whole subject; and, further, that I war inclined to suggest that such an inquiry could be most satisfactorily conducted by a Parliamentary Committee.