§ MR. SHACKLETON (Lancashire, Clitheroe)
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he can state what is the proportion of carbon dioxide in each 10,000 volumes of air in each of the six pressing rooms at the Army Clothing Factory.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. BROMLEY DAVENPORT,) Cheshire, Macclesfield
Samples of air were taken last Friday from three rooms at the factory including one of the pressing rooms (being the room in which Alice Wright pressed her work). The proportion of carbonic acid in the press-room varied from 5.7 per 10,000 volumes at the south end to 9.0 at the north end. The samples were taken after the workers had been at work three to four hours, and the result was considered satisfactory by the District Factory Inspector.
§ * Sir. CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that notice was given of the intended visit of the Factory Inspector; that the rooms were in consequence cleared in the morning contrast to usage; that they were sprinkled 11 water contrary to usage also, and that the irons were cooled?
§ MR. BROMLEY DAVENPORT
No, Sir, I am not aware of that, but I will inquire, and if necessary there shall be another test.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
I do not suggest that the atmosphere was not as the hon. Member has suggested, because I do not know.
§ CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the fact that on 1st May, 1902,† the Financial Secretary to the War Office stated in reply to a Question as to improving the accommodation in the pressing rooms of the Royal Army Clothing Factory, that the number of persons employed on pressing irons was 1,348, he will take immediate steps to improve the ventilation since these persons are now in the rooms in considerable numbers from time to time, although they are not constantly employed there.
In putting this Question the hon. and gallant Member asked leave to explain that it was by inadvertence on a former occasion he omitted the date of the year when the Question was put and thus incurred the censure of Mr. Speaker.
§ MR. BROMLEY DAVENPORT
In May, 1902, it was stated that before the war 1,348 women used the pressing irons, which then numbered about 170. At the present time there are 1,314 women using 180 pressing irons. The women only use the pressing irons occasionally, the time spent in the pressing rooms varying from one to two hours per week. My right hon. friend stated on Monday ‡ in reply to a Question that measures are being taken and will very shortly be completed to improve the atmospheric condition of certain of the rooms.