HC Deb 31 July 1939 vol 350 cc1978-9W
Mr. Tomlinson

asked the Home Secretary how many applications have been made for permission to work shift systems by cotton textile employers in Lancashire; how many have been granted; and in how many cases has permission been refused?

Mr. Peake

Since the beginning of 1937, when the Employment of Women and Young Persons Act, 1936, came into force, 38 applications for authorisations to work shift systems under the Act have been submitted to the Home Office in respect of cotton textile factories in Lancashire. An authorisation was granted in each of those cases; 21 of them were temporary and 10 of those 21 have now lapsed. I should explain that as a rule applications for authorisations of this kind are not submitted to the Home Office at all unless the secret ballot has shown that the majority of the workpeople concerned consent to the granting of the application.

Mr. Sutcliffe

asked the Home Secretary whether he can now make any further statement about the conference at Manchester to consider the problem of dust in cardrooms in the cotton industry?

Mr. Peake

My right hon. Friend understands that some difficulty arose in fixing a date in July convenient to representatives of the workpeople, but the Chief Inspector still contemplates an early conference with them, followed by a conference with the employers, and in the meantime the conditions at certain mills are being investigated.

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