§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ LORD SUDELEY
(for the Home Department), in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, that it had been passed by the other House of Parliament on the recommendation of a Select Committee which had sat on the subject. It was intended to put a stop to the excessive length of time that young persons were sometimes employed in shop, in some cases 85 hours a-week, especially in districts frequented by the working classes. In wholesale warehouses it was also found that the packing and entering clerks were detained until very late at night. It had been found impossible to take any step towards compulsory closing at certain times; but all parties seemed agreed that this Bill went a long way in the right direction. The Bill had been before a Select Committee, and had been thoroughly considered. Under Clause 3, no young person could be employed longer than 74 hours in one week, including meal hours. Under Section 2, no person could be employed in a shop who had already been employed in a factory or workshop for the number of hours specified in the Act of 1875. The only objection that had been raised to the Bill had been that there was no way of insuring its being carried out. It had been found quite impossible to appoint Inspectors at present; but all parties were satisfied that the moral effect of the Bill would be very great.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Sudeley.)32
§ VISCOUNT CRANBROOK
said, that he did not intend to oppose the Bill, though he was not very sanguine that any good would result from it. Without Inspectors it was impossible to ascertain whether the Act was being complied with, or to take steps for enforcing it. As, however, it might possibly be of some benefit, he should not raise any opposition to its passing.
§ EARL BEAUCHAMP
gave Notice that in Committee he would move the omission of the Proviso applying the Bill to public-houses and houses of refreshment.
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.