HC Deb 14 July 1908 vol 192 cc602-3
MR. HAWORTH (Manchester, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether children from nine to fifteen years of age are at times employed in the ginning mills in Egypt as long as fifteen hours a day; whether overseers in such mills use whips to maintain discipline; whether the wages for such children are at the rate of 6d. a day; and, if so, what steps can be taken to remedy this state of affairs.


This question has formed the subject of inquiry lately. I am informed that the factories are open for a comparatively short period in the year. During this period there are some instances where the working day of children does extend to fifteen and a half hours, though there are intervals during this day. Wages are about 10d. to 1s. a day. There is no evidence to show that whips or sticks are ever used in the factories for striking the children; but the whole question of the work of children in factories is receiving the serious consideration of the Egyptian Government with the view of deciding what regulations are in themselves desirable, and how such regulations can be made applicable to European owners of factories.


Ought not the right hon. Gentleman to communicate that it is a savage thing that children should work fifteen hours a day when Egypt is under our protection?


The last part of my Answer shows it is not a question of whether any remedies are to be applied, but a question of how they can be made applicable to the owners of European factories not under our control.