§ MR. MCLAREN (Leicester, Bosworth)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in cases of complaint to Her Majesty's inspectors of mines by secretaries of miners' unions or other agents duly appointed by miners that section 1 of the Truck Act of 1896 has been infringed by employers deducting fines from the men's wages, contrary to the statute, the inspectors are instructed by the Home Office to leave the individuals aggrieved to seek their remedy by law, instead of enforcing, under the powers conferred on inspectors of mines by section 13, sub-section 2, of the Truck Amendment Act, 1887, the provisions of the Act in favour of the men; and, if that is the case, whether he will issue instructions, that, on a primâ facie case of infringement being submitted to an inspector, such inspector shall make full inquiry, and save the workman the odium of prosecuting his employer by himself instituting proceedings under the Act?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir M. W. RIDLEY, Lancashire, Blackpool)
It is the duty of the inspectors when any primá facie case of a breach of the Truck Acts in a mine is brought to their notice to take steps to enforce obedience to the law, and to institute criminal proceedings for the punishment of offences against those Acts. Civil proceedings must, of course, be undertaken by the person, aggrieved.