asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the closing of the Corporation Street grinding wheel in Sheffield, which has thrown out of employment 40 to 50 men; and the reason for this step taken by the factory inspector?
§ Mr. CLYNES
It is reported to me that the conditions at these premises have been very unsatisfactory, and in particular that some of the most important provisions of the Regulations for the grinding of cutlery and edge tools are not complied with. This Code of Regulations was made as long ago as 1925, to protect the workpeople from the grave danger of silicosis of the lungs; a period of three years was allowed before some of the Regulations became operative, so as to give owners and occupiers of premises an opportunity of making any necessary alterations in the ventilating and other arrangements, but notwithstanding this and repeated warnings from the factory inspector since January last, the owners of the property have not1628W found themselves able to bring it into compliance with the law. In these circumstances, the inspector came to the conclusion, which I think was fully justified, that he could not acquiesce in work being continued under these unsatisfactory conditions until the premises were put in order. I am glad to say, however, that the hon. Member would appear to have been misinformed as to the number of persons likely to be thrown out of employment; the inspector reports not only that the number working there has been much smaller than 40, but that most of these are obtaining, or have obtained, places elsewhere and that, so far as he can judge, only three or four are still seeking places.