HC Deb 22 November 1927 vol 210 cc1611-2W

asked the Home Secretary if, since Clause 2 of the Lead Paint (Protection against Poisoning) Act, 1926, comes into force on 19th November, he has made an order under proviso (b) authorising women to do special decorative work and other work not being of an industrial character; has he received any representation from women affected by the Act urging the making of an order under Clause 2, proviso (b); and will be accede to the request to receive a deputation from women affected by the Act?


In pursuance of the provisions referred to I made an Order on the 14th instant which will have the effect of allowing women and young persons to be employed in the execution of wall or ceiling paintings or in any similar work of decorative design. Notice of the Order, which will be published as a Statutory Rule and Order, has been given in the Press and other steps have been taken to bring it to the knowledge of all concerned. I am sending the hon. Member a copy.

Previous to the making of the Order, representations in regard to it were received from certain firms of women decorators. The Order desired by these firms, however, was of a much wider character than the Act contemplates, and it was impossible for me to give effect to their suggestions.

As regards the last part of the question, I have been asked to receive a deputation to protest against the general prohibition in the Act against the employment of women in painting buildings with lead paint and to press for legislation for the removal of this prohibition. Seeing, however, that the prohibition was enacted by Parliament, after full discussion, so recently as 1926, and that leave was refused in July last by this House for the introduction of a Bill to remove the prohibition, I am not prepared to reopen this question, and I regret, therefore, I do not see my way to accede to the request.