HC Deb 29 March 1898 vol 55 cc1226-7
SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate, (1) whether his attention has been called to a report of the Christian Social Union on the conditions under which the folding and binding of books is carried on by women and girls in the employment of William Collins and Company, at Glasgow; (2) whether that firm is licensed, in terms of Her Majesty's Letters Patent to Her printers for Scotland and of the Instruction in Council of 1839, to print and publish the Holy Bible, the licence being signed by the Lord Advocate; (3) whether the printer receiving the licence applies to the Bible Board for a form, which leads to his giving caution in the sum of £500 that all will be done in accordance with the terms of the licence granted; and, (4) whether this form of licence and caution brings the matter within the scope of the Fair Wages Resolution of the House of Commons?


My attention has not been called to the Report referred to in the first paragraph of the hon. Member's Question, nor to the conditions under which the folding and binding of books are carried on by Messrs. William Collins, Sons, and Co., Glasgow. The answers to paragraphs two and three are in the affirmative. The matter does not, in my opinion, fall within the terms of the Fair Wages Resolution of this House, as the printing of Bibles in Scotland is not done under Government contract—all that falls under the cognizance of Her Majesty's Board of Printers, being the correctness of the text and the seeing that the words "Printed by Authority," the Royal Arms, and the Lord Advocate's licence are printed on each edition.