§ Commons' Amendments considered (according to Order).
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
said, he was anxious that some Bill on this subject should pass, and he would therefore accept the Amendments made by the Commons, although he hoped he objection would be raised to one or two modifications in them. As the Bill left their Lordships' House the penalties were recoverable before the Quarter Sessions, and except oh points of law there was no appeal. In the Commons an appeal to the superior courts was given; but as the expense was not to fall upon any private individual, there was no harm in that. The Judge of the County Court was substituted for the Court of Quarter Sessions. This was rather an anomaly, inasmuch as it was unusual to give jurisdiction of a criminal character to the County Courts, and a mode was adopted to obviate the objection—namely, by providing that the proceedings should be in the form of an action by the Inspector, and the penalty was to be deemed a debt. He preferred the County Court Judge to the Quarter Sessions, for the reason that his sittings were more frequent; and so far he would not press any objection against the Commons Amendments. But, as the Bill came back to their Lordships, no conviction could be obtained unless the Inspector or sub-Inspector watched the individual factory for four hours, and could state that during the whole of the time the condensation of the gas did not, at any moment, amount to 95 per cent. In nine cases out of ten a stream of gas proceeded from the works which was visible to the eye, traceable by the nose, and capable of being tasted by its effect upon the lips—any man who could see, smell, and taste could prove, as well as ten Inspectors, whether the proper amount of gas was condensed or not—but, if there were fifty or sixty people who could speak to an uninterrupted stream of gas during a whole day, the Inspector could not succeed in his proceedings against the owner of the works, because he had not himself personally observed it during the whole period of four hours. He should propose, therefore, to restore the Bill to its original shape, by omitting the words "derived from his own 1144 examination or that of the sub-Inspector." He should also propose to omit the words "in any one period of four hours," so as to leave the offence completed by non-condensation at any time. With regard to the proviso requiring the Inspector to deliver a written statement of the grounds upon which he formed his opinion, he suggested that it was unnecessary, as the Inspector must product evidence sufficient to substantiate the charge.
§ LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLEY
thought that the evidence of the Inspector or sub-Inspector was the only evidence on which a conviction could be based. To the noble Earl's Amendment in the latter part of the clause he had no objection, but he could not consent to the third Amendment.
§ Commons' Amendment by the insertion of the words "in any one period of four hours" disagreed to; the other Amendments agreed to.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY moved to disagree to Clause A (Owner to be liable for Offences in the first instance), added by the Commons.
§ LORD STANLEY OF ALDERDEY
said, the clause followed the analogy of the Factory Act, which exempted masters under similar circumstances.
§ LORD CHELMSFORD
was surprised to hear of the existence of such a clause in the Factory Act, for it was a plain violation of the principle of law, that a master was civilly liable for the acts of his servants.
§ LORD EGERTON OF TATTON
said, it was so; and he had noticed in the Reports of the Factory Inspectors complaints of a disposition among masters to throw the onus of infractions of the laws on their servants.
§ On Question? their Lordships divided:—Contents 47; Not-Contents 24: Majority 23.
§ Clause disagreed to.1145
|Saint Albans, D.||De Vesci, V.|
|Sutherland, D.||Hawarden, V.|
|Bath, M. [Teller.]||Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.) [Teller.]|
|Normanby, M.||Lifford, V.|
|Amherst, E.||Bangor, Bp.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Chichester, Bp.|
|Cawdor, E.||Calthorpe, L.|
|Derby, E.||Chelmsford, L.|
|Desart, E.||Clarina, L.|
|Devon, E.||Cloncurry, L.|
|Hardwicke, E.||Cranworth, L.|
|Malmesbury, E.||Denman, L.|
|Orkney, E.||Ebury, L.|
|Romney, E.||Egerton, L.|
|Wicklow, E.||Kingsdown, L.|
|Lismore, L. (V. Lismore.)||Somerhill, L. (M. Clanricarde.)|
|Llanover, L.||Talbot de Malahide, L.|
|Mont Eagle, L. (M. Sligo.)||Taunton, L.|
|Mostyn, L.||Tyrone, L. (M. Waterford)|
|Redesdale, L.||Wensleydale, L.|
|Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)||Wodehouse, L.|
|Westbury, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Aveland, L.|
|Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.)|
|Somerset, D.||Camoys, L.|
|Clandeboye, L. (L. Dufferin and Claneboye.)|
|Airlie, E.||Foley, L. [Teller.]|
|Cottenham, E.||Hunsdon, L. (V. Falkland.)|
|De Grey, E.|
|Effingham, E.||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.) [Teller.]|
|Harrowby, E.||Saye and Sele, L.|
|Saint Germans, E.||Seymour, L.|
|Stanley of Alderley, L.|
|Falmouth, V.||Sundridge, L. (D. Argyll.)|
§ The other Amendments agreed to; and a Committee appointed to prepare Reasons to be offered to the Commons for the Lords disagreeing to the above Amendment: The Committee to meet on Thursday next: at a Quarter before Five o'Clock.