§ MR. O'GRADY
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in view of the fact that in the East End of London there are approximately 5,000 employers, employing approximately 90,000 workpeople, who can be classed as sweaters and sweated, and that the-same condition of things applies relatively to all the large centres of industry, he will consider the advisability of appointing a Royal Commission to investigate the sweating evils, with the view of recommending legislation that will remedy the matter.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASUEY (Sir H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN,) Stirling Burghs
1637 I have already told the hon. Gentleman that the Government do not at present propose to appoint a Royal Commission to investigate the sweating system. He must not think that we are indifferent or unsympathetic in regard to the evils of this system, which we recognise as fully as he does. I may tell him that all the steps that can be taken within the existing law to protect the workers from the bad economic and sanitary conditions that beset them are being taken: and the Central Departments which are concerned with the admistration of the Factory and Sanitary Acts are collecting, informating, and putting pressure upon the local authorities to carry out their duties.
§ MR. O'GRADY
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he was aware that, after all, the greatest pressure came from wages as well as from sanitation, that the law could not interfere with that matter, and that, therefore, it did require a Royal Commission to inquire into the matter of wages as well as of sanitation.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
was understood to reply that the time might come when it might be necessary to make an inquiry, but that the Government did not think it had arisen yet. They had many inquiries already on hand.
§ MR. CHIOZZA MONEY
asked whether, in view of the importance of the wages side of this question, the right hon. Gentleman could facilitate the Wages Bill now before the House, or bring forward a similar measure as a Government measure.
SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNEEMAN
That is asking me for special facilities for a particular Bill. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will repeat his Question at a later date.