HC Deb 22 May 1912 vol 38 c1921

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the recent case of Powell v. Junior Army and Navy Stores, in which the jury found that the conditions of the office in which the plaintiff worked were injurious to the health of the persons employed in it, and that the office was so overcrowded as to be injurious or dangerous to the health of the inmates; and whether, in view of the fact that such places do not come under the Factory Act, he will introduce legislation to prevent clerks and typists from being forced to work in dangerously insanitary surroundings?


I have seen the reports in the newspapers on the proceedings in this case. The regulation of the sanitary conditions in offices and similar places is matter that falls under the general legislation relating to public health, and any question of making further provision with regard to it would have, I think, to be considered in connection with that legislation. This would not be a matter for my Department to undertake, but I will consult with my right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board as to whether the existing powers are sufficient to enable the local authorities to deal with conditions injurious to the persons employed and whether any amendment or extension is desirable.