HC Deb 06 July 1899 vol 74 c29
SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what circumstances he has made his order extending the special exception for the employment of women overtime to the washing of bottles for use in the preserving of fruit; and by what evidence it has been proved to his satisfaction that such employment will not injure the health of the women employed.


The process in question having been regarded as outside the Factory Acts, there has hitherto been no restriction on overtime employment. Recently I was advised that the Factory Acts applied to this process, and gave directions that they should be enforced; but, as I was satisfied that there is unavoidably a severe press of work at certain seasons, I have granted the limited overtime which is enjoyed by other season trades—an hour and a half on thirty days in the year. The Chief Inspector reports that there is nothing in the nature of the employment which could render this small amount of overtime injurious to the women employed. It is a very slight concession as against the restriction of hours now for the first time insisted on.