§ THE EARL OF SHAFTESBURY
asked the Under Secretary for India, Whether any Bill for the regulation of labour in mills and factories in India has been brought in by the Supreme Government?
, in reply, said, that an Act to regulate labour in factories had been passed, and had received the assent of the Governor General on the 15th of April this year. It applied to the whole of British India, and was compulsory therein. Its chief provisions were—the determination of the age of children employed, seven years being the minimum; the limitation of the hours of employment to nine hours, with one hour's interval of rest; the prohibition of the employment of children on certain dangerous work; the fencing of dangerous machinery; the reporting of accidents, and the appointment of Government Inspectors. While, however, the Act applied to the whole of British India, some discretion was left to local Governments to make their own rules regarding the fencing of dangerous machinery, ventilation, inspection, hearing of appeals, sanitary, and minor matters. The Act regulated Crown Factories, except in certain emergencies; but indigo factories and tea and coffee plantations were exempt. He might add that the restrictions on the hours of labour applied to children only.