HC Deb 05 March 1903 vol 118 cc1565-6
MR. BELL (Derby)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he has called for a return of the hours worked by railwaymen for December last; whether he is aware that several railway companies after his warning issued private instructions to their officials to the effect that men should not be allowed to work more than twelve hours per day during the month of December, and that since that date such instructions have been cancelled and otherwise relaxed; and will he call for a return of the hours worked for October or November, or any month which he may not have advised them of previously.


A return for December last has been called for and we have already received the returns of a considerable number of companies. I have no official information of the instruction said to be issued by various railway companies last year, with the object of keeping down the hours worked by their servants, nor have I any knowledge of their alleged subsequent cancellation.


If I supply the right hon. Gentleman with copies of the circular, and he is satisfied that that course has been adopted by the railway company, will he order a ret urn for some other month than December?


If the hon. Member supplies me with the circular I will, of course, consider the matter.