HC Deb 05 December 1906 vol 166 c929

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the coming into force on 1st January, 1907, of the Secretary of State's order extending the requirement of certificates of fitness to certain workshops, and the inadequacy of the sixpenny fee for professional services rendered by certifying factory surgeons, he will favourably consider the advisability of taking the necessary steps to fix the fee at one shilling and the definition of small employers as those who employ a total number of all ages not exceeding ten.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) The privilege of having children and young persons examined elsewhere than at the factory on payment of 6d. each was given to the small employer by Parliament, and, though I have power under the Act of 1901 to vary the scale of fees, I should be reluctant by administrative action to take away the privilege which Parliament has granted. A small employer is defined, by Section 64 (3) of the Act of 1901, as one who employs less than five children and young persons, and legislation would be required to alter this definition. Both points shall be borne in mind in connection with any amending factory legislation.