§ MR. DONAL SULLIVAN (Westmeath, S.)
On behalf of the hon. Member for North Louth, I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department 81 whether he is aware that when complaint was made to the factory inspector, Belfast, that children in the Ready Linen Company wore fined for not coming to work-on a factory holiday (15th August), the inspector returned the fine, and did not prosecute the company; and that when the father of the children wrote to the Home Office for an explanation, he was referred by letter of 18th February to the inspector complained of; and can he state the number of prosecutions under the Factory Acts for the last two years in county Armagh and county Donegal respectively.
§ *MR. RITCHIE
I have made inquiry and find that the facts are as stated in the first paragraph of the question. The inspector seems to have taken much trouble to see that the fines wrongly imposed on the two children by their employers were returned. It was a matter for his discretion whether or not to report the case for prosecution. The number of prosecutions during the last two years has been as follows; In Armagh eighteen firms were prosecuted for a total of eighty-four offences, and in Donegal seven firms were prosecuted for sixteen offences.