§ MR. JOHN WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the contractors for the Ambergate reservoir, Messrs. Wright and Company, have during, the last two years deducted 6d. per week front the wages of all workmen employed upon their works; whether such deductions are alleged to be made for the supply of tools and medical attendance, without first ob. taming the sanction of the workmen to make the same; whether any audit of such accounts has been made in accordance 879 with Clause 9 of The Truck Amendment Act, 1887; whether any report has been received upon the subject from the district factory inspector; and what action, if any, he proposes to take in the matter.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL,) Yorkshire, Cleveland
The enforcement of the provisions of the Truck Acts in this employment does not rest with the Home Department, but my right hon. friend made inquiry of the contractors, and I am informed by them that during the period they have been engaged on these works, about twelve months, they have made a deduction of 1d. per working day for tools and medical attendance; but that this deduction has been made by agreement with the workmen to whom the proposal was put at the outset, and who unanimously desired that the arrangement should be made. It is stated that it is the invariable custom in this trade for the men to provide their own tools, and some could not be engaged at all if they were unable to obtain their tools in this way. There has been no audit up to the present, the contractors stating that they were not aware an audit was required, but they are perfectly willing that the accounts should be audited.
§ Mr. JOHN WARD
Do the Home Office propose to take proceedings against this firm for an infringement of the Truck Act?