HC Deb 09 June 1898 vol 58 cc1175-6
MR. TENNANT (Berwickshire)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Horns Department whether his attention has been called to a prosecution at Dukinfield Police Court, on 26th May, in which a company was fined £3 for failing to provide a bath for workpeople, the Government Inspector stating that over a dozen cases of lead poisoning had occurred among their workpeople; and whether, in view of the inadequacy of the penalty, and of other cases in which inadequate penalties have been inflicted for breaches of the Factory Acts, he will consider the advisability of addressing a circular letter on the subject to the magistrates?


My attention has been called to this case. The penalty appears certainly to be a small one, but in view of the strong remarks reported to have been made by the Chairman, I trust it may not prove inadequate to secure obedience to the rules. While I regret the inadequacy of the penalties sometimes inflicted in cases under the Factory Acts, I fear that I cannot properly issue such a circular as the honourable Member suggests. In individual cases I have sometimes thought it my duty to express my opinion somewhat decidedly.