HC Deb 22 July 1938 vol 338 cc2658-70

2.51 p.m.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Earl Winterton)

I beg to move, in page 1, line 8, after "whom," to insert "this Part of ".

This is a drafting Amendment to carry out the intention which I mentioned to the House on Second Reading of moving the transfer of the Clauses relating to the amendment of the Shops Act. I should like to have permission to refer in a few words to a drafting Amendment to Clause 2—in page 4, line 20, to move: That Clauses 3 to 5 of the Bill be transferred to the end of line 28, on page 12, as Part II of the Bill. because although the Amendment which I am now moving comes in here, it is really consequential upon the adoption of that other Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

2.52 p.m.

Mr. Ridley

I beg to move, in page 1 line 9, at the end, to insert: not exceed nine in any day and shall". This Amendment states its purpose so clearly that only a word or two of explanation is necessary from me. As I said on Second Reading, I do not deny that this Bill is an improvement upon the existing situation, but if a Bill which is so limited and inadequate can be an improvement upon anything at all the fact serves only to indicate how bad the existing situation must be. The Clause which I am seeking to amend limits the hours of employment for young persons between 14 and 18 to 48 hours per week, but does not limit the working hours per day. If I read the Bill aright it means that a young person of 14 can be required to work11½ hours a day, and if that be so I suggest that it is an indefensible position. It may be suggested by the noble Lord that that situation can be met by regulations. I say emphatically that in my view that is not the case. The regulations in this Bill work the wrong way. The Bill should embody the major provision, and if there are to be regulations they should be regulations out of the major provisions; but in the Bill as it is, the worst of all possible worlds is within the terms of it, and the only hope of better terms lies in the remote possibility of the Home Secretary applying to every young person of 14 a regulation which will prevent his employer from engaging him for 11½ hours a day.

2.55 p.m.

Earl Winterton

I am sorry that I cannot accept this Amendment, for the reason which I mentioned on Second Reading, and I cannot but recapitulate those reasons. In the first place, the object of the Bill is to supplement the Shops Act and Section 98 of the Factories Act, which is the only Section which is analogous to this Bill. In neither of those cases is there any provision similar to that which the hon. Gentleman seeks to put into the Bill. A further reason is that the Departmental Committee did not think it necessary to recommend nine hours a day.

I must mention very shortly a further objection which there seems, to my right hon. Friend and myself, to be to this proposal, on merit. It is that the Amendment would tend to prevent the adoption of a five-day week as that would mean that only 45 hours a week could be worked in industry. An objection which is also relevant is that the Amendment takes no account of the necessity for longer hours when overtime is being worked. In another portion of the Factories

Act applying a nine-hour day to other forms of labour young persons over 16 may be employed including overtime for 10 hours a day. I would ask the Committee to accept the assurances of my right hon. Friend and myself that this matter will be watched very carefully, for the reasons which I gave on the Second Reading, and which I need not now repeat.

2.56 p.m.

Mr. Rhys Davies

I am sorry that the Noble Lord has not seen his way to accept the Amendment, which is a very reasonable one. Whenever a Bill has come before Parliament affecting the hours of labour of young persons, Parliament has never accepted any reference to any previous Act governing those conditions. Since I have been here every Act affecting the hours of labour of young persons has been an improvement upon the last. It is, therefore, no use the Noble Lord referring to the Shops Act, 1934, and the Factories Act, 1937. The young persons referred to in the Bill are very much more open to exploitation by unscrupulous employers than those employed in factories or shops. The Noble Lord will forgive us for saying that we are bound to register in the Division Lobby our opinion on this important Amendment.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 87; Noes, 147.

Division No. 320.] AYES [2.59 p.m.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Foot, D. M. Lathan, G.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Gallacher, W. Leach, W.
Ammon, C. G. Garro Jones, G. M. Macdonald, G. (Ince)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) McEntee, V. La T.
Banfield, J. W. George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) MacLaren, A.
Barnes, A. J. Green, W. H. (Deptford) Mathers, G.
Barr, J. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Maxton, J.
Bellenger, F. J. Grenfell, D. R. Messer, F.
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W. Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Morgan, R. H.
Buchanan, G. Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Noel-Baker, P. J.
Burke, W. A. Groves, T. E, Oliver, G. H.
Chater, D. Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.) Paling, W.
Cluse, W. S. Hall, G. H. (Aberdare) Parker, J,
Cocks, F. S. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Parkinson, J. A.
Cove, W. G. Hardie, Agnes Pearson, A.
Daggar, G. Harris, Sir P. A. Poole, C. C.
Dalton, H. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Pritt, D. N.
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Quibell, D. J. K.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Ridley, G.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Hills, A. (Pontefract) Ritson, J.
Dobbie, W. Hopkin, D. Seely, Sir H. M.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Silverman, S. S.
Ede, J. C. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Simpson, F. B.
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.) Kelly, W. T. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Smith, E. (Stoke) Thorne, W. Windsor, W. (Hull, C)
Sorensen, R. W Thurtle, E. woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Stephen, C. Tinker, J. J.
Stokes, R. R. Viant, S. P. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Watkins, F. C. Mr. Whlteley and Mr. Adamson.
Agnew, Lieut-Comdr. P. G. Findlay, Sir E. Nicolson, Hon. H. G.
Albery, Sir Irving Fremantle, Sir F. E. Palmer, G. E. H.
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Furness, S. N. Patrick, C. M.
Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.) Fyfe, D. P. M. Peake, O.
Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Sc'h Univ's) Gluckstein, L. H. Peters, Dr. S. J.
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.) Goldle, N. B. Petherick, M.
Baillie, Sir A. W. M. Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester) Ponsonby, Col. C. E
Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Grimston, R. V. Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Barclay-Harvey, Sir C. M. Gunslon, Capt. Sir D. W. Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Barrie, Sir C. C. Hambro, A. V. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Hannah, I. C. Ropner, Colonel L.
Bennett, Sir E. N. Harvey, Sir G. Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Bossom, A. C. Heneage, Lieut-Colonel A. P. Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Russell, Sir Alexander
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Hepworth, J. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Broadbridge, Sir G. T. Hoare, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Samuel, M. R. A.
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham) Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Sandeman, Sir N. S.
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury) Hunloke, H. P. Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P
Bull, B. B. Hutchinson, G. C. Scott, Lord William
Bullock, Capt. M. James, Wing-Commander A. W. H, Selley, H. R.
Carver, Major W. H. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose) Shakespeare, G. H.
Cary, R. A. Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead). Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Smiles, Lieut. -Colonel Sir W D.
Clarry, Sir Reginald Liddall, W. S. Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Clydesdale, Marquess of Lipson, D. L. Smithers, Sir W.
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) Llewellin, Colonel J. J. Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald
Colville, Rt. Hon. John Loftus, P. C. Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.
Conant, Captain R. J. E. Lyons, A. M. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G. Touche, G. C.
Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L. Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight) Wakefield, W. W.
Cox, H. B. Trevor Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees) Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page Macnamara, Major J. R. J. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Crooke, Sir J. Smedley Macquisten, F. A. Ward, Irenc M. B. (Wallsend)
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Magnay, T. Warrends, Sir V.
Davies, C. (Montgomery) Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Watt Major, G. S. Harvie
De Chair, S. S. Maxwell, Hon. S. A. Wayland, Sir W. A.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Doland, G. F. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Williams, C. (Torquay)
Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury) Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Duncan, J. A. L. Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R. Willioughby de Eresby, Lord
Eastwood, J. F. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Eckersley, P. T. Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Ellis, Sir G. Munro, P.
Elliston, Capt. G. S. Nall, Sir J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Fildes, Sir H. Nicholson, G. (Farnham) Captain Dugdale and Major
James Edmondson

3.5 p.m.

Mr. Rhys Davies

I beg to move, in page 1 line 14, to leave out "two years," and to insert "one year."

This Amendment is a very simple one, and I sincerely trust that the Government may see their way to accept it. If they do, there will, of course, be some consequential Amendments which I shall move later. Already I can see that the Home Secretary and his deputy appear to be in such a good humour that they might accept the Amendment after hearing what I am going to say. The Bill as it stands would bring into operation a universal 48-hour week in January, 1939, that is to say, the first January after the passing of the Bill, for all young persons under 18 years of age. But the Bill also proposes that the 44-hour week in respect of young persons under 16 shall not come into operation until 1941, or two years after the commencement of the Act. The object of this Amendment is that the Bill should come into operation, in respect of the 44-hour week for young persons up to the age of 16, in January, 1940, instead of in January, 1941. I think that that is a very reasonable proposition. It is, of course, proper to give employers of labour who engage these young people time to adjust their business to meet the due demands of the law, but we cannot conceive that a period of 2½ years is required for that; we think that1½ years is ample. I feel sure that the reasons I have given will have convinced the right hon. Gentleman and his deputy that the Amendment is an excellent and workable one, and that they will now stand up and say that they accept it whole-heartedly.

3.8 p.m.

Earl Winterton

We could not, of course, give way on a question of principle, but, as this Amendment does not involve a question of principle, I am glad to accept it.

Amendment agreed to.

Earl Winterton

I beg to move, in page 2, line after "whom," to insert "this Part of."

This Amendment continues the series of drafting Amendments the first of which has already been passed.

Amendment agreed to.

Consequential Amendment made.

3.9 p.m.

Mr. Rhys Davies

I beg to move, in page 2, line 18, to leave out "five," and to insert "four and a half."

Hon. Members will find from the Bill that these young people, unless they get a few minutes' interval for a cup of tea or something of that kind, as is common in some employments, will be working for five hours without a meal. In a large number of cases they will leave their homes approximately an hour before they reach their work, and it would seem to us quite possible that in a large number of cases these young people would be working, all told, for 5½ or even six hours between two meals. We think that is too long. There is just one other point in support of this Amendment. As the noble Lord has referred to other Acts, I might mention that he will find in other Acts of Parliament that for young persons the continuous period between meal times must not exceed four hours.

3.11 p.m.

Earl Winterton

I am sorry I cannot accept this Amendment. The hon. Gentleman is not quite correct in saying that there is any analogous provision in any other Act applying to this particular class of labour. It is true that Section 70 of the Factories Act does make the period 4½ hours, but that applies only to persons working in the factory, and that can be increased to five hours if an interval of only ten minutes is given. Section 98 of the Factories Act, which is the Section analogous to the Bill, sanctions a total of five hours for van boys attached to factories, and it equally applies to van boys attached to shops under the Shops Act. It would be undesirable to apply different provisions to van boys under this Bill.

Amendment negatived.

Consequential Amendments made.

3.13 p.m.

Mr. Ridley

I beg to move, in page 2, line 32, to leave out "eleven," and to insert "thirteen."

Although I will be as brief as I can, I beg the Committee not to believe that brevity is to be explained by any lack of warmth on the part of my hon. Friends and myself. I find it almost impossible to believe that legislation can have this intention in 1938. I beg the Noble Lord to tell me in what respect I am inaccurate in interpreting the Clause. In resisting a previous Amendment, he said that the Clause was in harmony with the report of the Committee on the Employment of Young Persons. The Clause as it stands is not in harmony with that report. The report made a 10-hour over-all day a maximum for these young persons. This Bill does not propose definitely any overall day for young persons, even at 14 years of age, except by negotiation. It lays down that there must be an 11-hour interval. Therefore, by negotiation, there can be a 13-hour over-all day. On the contrary, the Factories Act lays down that there shall be a limitation of the working day to 11 hours; therefore, for young persons employed under the Factories Act there must be a 13-hour interval, while under this Bill there need be only an 11-hour interval. It is incredible that legislation in this year can have that purpose and intention. This will apply to young persons of 14, even when they enjoy the 44-hour week. The situation at 14 years of age will in no sense be varied.

The Bill, as drafted, means that the young person can be required to commence work at the age of 14 at 6 o'clock in the morning. Such young person may live an hour's journey from his work, as is frequently the case in London. That means leaving home at 5 o'clock in the morning. It means rising at 4.15 at 14 years of age when young persons are drugged with sleep. It means working from 6 o'clock, and being allowed under the provisions of this Bill to be about the premises until 7 o'clock in the evening—a 13-hour over-all day. Then being an hour's journey from home, the young person reaches home at 8 o'clock, has a wash, and tea at 8.45, and again being within eight hours of the moment he is required to rise again for the daily round. There is no opportunity for recreation, none for leisure, education or for any of those pleasurable and cultural pursuits which all young persons of 14 ought to enjoy. Such a provision can be described as monstrous, and I beg of the Noble Lord to lay it down, even in excess of the recommendations of the Departmental Committee, that the over-all period of employment for young persons from 14 to 18 years of age shall be limited to 11 hours per day, in order that, within the remaining 13 hours there shall be at least limited opportunities for those pursuits which ought to be the rightful heritage of every boy and girl within those two ages.

3.17 p.m.

Earl Winterton

I regret that the Government cannot accept this Amendment. The hon. Gentleman is incorrect in arguing that the Clause is in any way contrary to the Departmental Committee's report or that the Amendment is in accord with it. I will quote from page 33, paragraph 112 of the report, which says: We, therefore, recommend a general prohibition of night employment for a period of 11 hours including the hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Mr. Ridley

Will the Noble Lord turn to what is much more pertinent on page 38, where in paragraph 133 (3) (b), the Departmental Committee recommend that: The daily period of employment including all intervals should not exceed 10 hours.

Earl Winterton

That is a different point. This is a point specifically dealing with the question of night employment.

Mr. Ridley

And, inferentially, with day employment.

Earl Winterton

They say: We therefore recommend a general prohibition of night employment for a period of 11 hours," etc. Another argument, and perhaps a sounder one, against it is that the provision for 11 hours' rest follows exactly the terms of the International Convention relating to night employment of young persons to which the Government at that time acceded, and that it is contained in the Shops Act, and in Section 98 of the Factories Act. For these reasons, I regret that the Government cannot accept the Amendment.

3.19 p.m.

Mr. Kelly

I am surprised at the reply which has just been given. It is quite a new thing to hear that children are entitled to be employed during the night. I know of one industry—the glass trade—in which it is legally permitted but in no other trade, and if the Committee had been dealing with employment at night, then I must express amazement at the answer which has been given by the Minister in charge. This deals with day work, with employment in the day, and it is an endeavour to worsen conditions by allowing an intervals of 11 hours between the working on one day and the working on the next day.

3.20 p.m.

Mr. Rhys Davies

We feel very strongly on this point, and if time permitted we should have pressed the Amendment to a division. I do not know what my hon. Friends think about it. [HON. MEMBERS: "We shall press it."] There are a large number of Amendments in the name of the Government, and I should like to see the Bill pass through all its stages before 4 o'clock.

Question put, "that the word 'eleven' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 146; Noes, 89.

Division No. 321.] AYES. [3.22p.m.
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Baillie, Sir A. W. M. Bennett, Sir E. N.
Albery, Sir Irving Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Bossom, A. C.
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Barclay-Harvey, Sir C. M. Braithwaite, Major A. N.
Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.) Barrie, Sir C. C. Brisooe, Capt. R. G.
Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Sc'h Univ's) Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Broadbridge, Sir G. T.
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P. Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury) Hepworth, J. Rankin, Sir R.
Bull, B. B. Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.) Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Bullock, Capt. M. Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Carver, Major W. H. Hoare, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Cary R. A Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Ropner, Colonel L.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead) Hulbert, N. J. Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Clarry, Sir Reginald Hunloke, H. P. Russell, Sir Alexander
Clydesdale, Marquess of Hutchinson, G. C. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) James, Wing-Commander A. W. H. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Colville, Rt. Hon. John Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose) Samuel, M. R. A.
Conant, Captain R. J. E. Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Sandeman, Sir N. S.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Liddall, W. S. Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.
Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L. Lipson, D. L. Selley, H. R.
Cox, H. B. Trevor Llewellin, Colonel J. J. Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S. Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Crooke, Sir J. Smedley Loftus, P. C. Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Lyons, A. M. Smithers, Sir W.
De Chair, S. S. MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G. Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald
Denman, Hon. R. D. MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.
Doland, G. F. Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)
Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury) Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees) Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Duggan, H. J. Macnamara, Major J. R. J. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Duncan, J. A. L. Macquisten, F. A. Touche, G. C.
Eastwood, J. F. Magnay, T. Wakefield, W. W.
Eckersley, P. T. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Edmondson, Major Sir J. Maxwell, Hon. S. A. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Ellis, Sir G. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Warrender, Sir V.
Elliston, Capt. G. S. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Watt, Major G. S. Harvie
Elmley, Viscount Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R. Wayland, Sir W. A
Fildes, Sir H. Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Findlay, Sir E. Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Furness, S. N. Munro, P. Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Fyfe, D. P. M. Nall, Sir J. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Gluckstein, L. H. Nicholson, G. (Farnham) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Goldie, N. B. Nicolson, Hon. H. G. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Gower, Sir R. V. Palmer, G. E. H. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Greene, W. P.C. (Worcester) Patrick, C. M.
Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W. Peake, O. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Hambro, A. V. Peters, Dr. S. J. Captain Dugdale and Mr.
Hannah, I. C. Petherick, M. Grimston.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Oliver, G. H.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Green, W. H. (Deptford) Paling, W.
Adamson, W. M. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Parker, J.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Grenfell, D. R. Parkinson, J. A.
Ammon, C. G. Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Pearson, A.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Poole, C. C.
Banfield, J. W. Groves, T. E Pritt, D. N.
Barnes, A. J. Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.) Quibell, D. J. K.
Barr, J. Hall, G. H. (Aberdare) Ridley, G.
Bellenger, F. J. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Ritson, J.
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W. Hardie, Agnes Seely, Sir H. M.
Buchanan, G. Harris, Sir P. A. Silkin, L.
Burke, W. A. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Silverman, S. S.
Chater, D. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Simpson, F. B.
Cluse, W. S. Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Cocks, F. S. Hills, A. (Pontefract) Smith, E. (Stoke)
Cove, W. G. Hopkin, D. Sorensen, R. W.
Daggar, G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Stephen, C.
Dalton, H. Kelly, W. T. Stokes, R. R.
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Lathan, G. Thorne, W.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Leach, W. Thurtle, E.
Dobbie, W. Macdonald, G. (Ince) Tinker, J. J.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) McEntee, V. La T. Viant, S. P.
Ede, J. C. MacLaren, A. Watkins, F. C.
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.) Maxton, J. Windsor, W. (Hull, C
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Messer, F. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Frankel, D. Morgan, R. H.
Gallacher, W. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Garro Jones, G. M. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.) Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Mathers.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Noel-Baker, P. J.

Motion made, and Question, "That Clauses 3 to 5 of the Bill be transferred to the end of line 28, on page 12, as Part II of the Bill," put, and agreed to.

3.30 p.m.

Mr. Ammon

I beg to move, in page 2, line 33, to leave out "ten," and to insert "nine."

This Amendment raises very much the same principle upon which we have just voted, but, nevertheless, I think it is a point which the Government would do well to accept. As the Bill is drafted at present, it will not be possible to employ young persons between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. I grant that that provision is in line with the report of the Departmental Committee and the Factories Act, but it is obvious that the employment of young people at late hours is a very serious matter. I am fortified in making that statement by the fact that the largest education authority in the country, that of London, are responsible for this Amendment; they feel that in this respect the Bill, as drafted, would militate against the provisions already made with regard to continued education for such young persons as and when they go into employment. I feel that it would be reasonable to fix the hour at 9 p.m. Although I am speaking only briefly on this Amendment, I feel strongly on it, and it is only anxiety to see this Measure placed on the Statute Book that causes me to make a brief speech this afternoon. I think the Amendment is one which ought to appeal to all hon. Members, particularly at a time when we are making claims for physical efficiency, and so on. I hope the Amendment will be accepted.

3.32 p.m.

Earl Winterton

I appreciate the fact that the hon. Member for North Camberwell (Mr. Ammon) has put the case for this Amendment as briefly as possible, and I am sure that the Committee will excuse me if I give an equally short answer. The effect of the Amendment would be to prohibit the employment of young persons before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. This Bill, as I have said, is really supplementary legislation, and it is very desirable that it should be uniform with legislation already passed applying to the same class of labour in the Factories Act only a year ago, for otherwise very serious anomalies would be created. I will mention only one anomaly. For example, a young person selling chocolates in a theatre could be employed up to 10 p.m. under the Shops Act, but under this Bill, if the Amendment were accepted, a page boy in a cinema could be employed only up to 9 p.m. I would remind the Committee that in a later sub-section the Home Secretary is given extremely wide powers, and my right hon. Friend will have no hesitation in availing himself of those powers if it is found necessary for him to do so.

Amendment negatived.

Consequential Amendments made.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.