§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps can be taken in reference to a case heard in the Queen's Bench Division at Dublin, last week, in which it was held that a woman sock-maker was not a workman under the Truck Act; whether, by this judgment, the view uniformly taken by the Home Office is reversed; whether the judgment will have effect in England or Scotland; and if he will consider whether the Irish decision goes beyond the Truck Acts, and affects the definitions in the Factory and Workshop Acts.
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir M. WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
The Court of Queen's Bench Division in Ireland, I am informed, decided the case referred to on the ground that knitting was not manual labour within the meaning of the Truck Act of 1887. If this is so, it is contrary to the view upon which the Truck Acts have hitherto been administered, without any similar question, so far as I know, being raised in any court. It would also have a very serious effect upon the administration of the Factory Acts in which similar language is used. I regard the question as so serious that I propose to consult at once with the Law Officers of the Crown as to the effect and extent of the decision of the Irish Court, and as to the proper steps to be taken to secure the effective administration of the Truck and Factory Acts.