HC Deb 08 September 1909 vol 10 cc1305-6

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether the Government has any information to the effect that the Government of India proposes to take power to limit the employment of adult male labour to a fixed number of hours per day in all factories in India; and whether the Commission which recently reported advised direct restriction upon the hours of male adult labour to an extent which has not yet been enforced by law in Great Britain?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (The Master of Elibank)

The Bill now before the Governor-General's Legislative Council provides for a reduction in the hours of labour in textile factories, which sometimes extended to 15 hours a day or more, to a day not exceeding 12 hours, deals drastically with serious abuses that existed in connection with the employment of children, and gives power to local governments to apply its provisions to other factories if necessary. Direct restriction on the hours of labour was recommended by the Committee of 1906, and a minority Report of the subsequent Commission. The majority of the Commission proposed to attain the same end by indirect means. The hon. Member will recognise that in the East labour is not organised as it is in Britain, and is not continuous but intermittent and spasmodic.