§ MR. HODGE (Lancashire, Gorton)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if his attention has been directed to the practice of utilising the services of the unemployed by religious and philanthropic bodies at lower rates of wages than the ordinary market rate of wages, more particularly in the firewood industry, and the selling of the product at less than the current price, to the detriment of those regularly engaged in such industry, and of the payment by such bodies for such work in kind instead of in cash, in broach of the provisions of the Truck Acts; and what action, if any, he intends taking to compel compliance with the said Acts.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
A communication on the subject has been received by me from the Firewood Cutter's Protection Society. I am advised that it is by no means clear that the Truck Acts would apply in the case of persons seeking aid from charitable institutions and the question of extending the Acts so as to cover such cases would involve considerable difficulties. I understand the point has been brought to the notice of the Committee on the Truck Acts which is now sitting, and it will no doubt receive their consideration.