Brennand Mill, Burnley (Faulty Cloth).

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing. – in the House of Commons on 8th July 1926.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

10.

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to a case in which the owners of Brennand Bill, Burnley, required a weaver in their employ to purchase a piece of cloth as an alternative to dismissal; whether he is aware that His Majesty's inspector of factories has expressed the opinion that the firm's action was a breach of the Truck Acts; can he state why the firm has not been prosecuted; and whether he has any further statement to make on the matter?

Photo of Mr William Joynson-Hicks Mr William Joynson-Hicks , Twickenham

I have received a report from the chief inspector of factories. It is clear that the firm were guilty of a breach of the Truck Acts, but as there was considerable fault on the part of the worker I contented myself with cautioning the firm, who have undertaken that the offence shall not be repeated.

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what was the fault on the part of the worker, and whether it was a breach of the law?

Photo of Mr William Joynson-Hicks Mr William Joynson-Hicks , Twickenham

The worker had been making faulty cloth. The matter has been referred to the trade union concerned, and I think the course I have taken has met with universal satisfaction.

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

May I ask whether the inquiry was conducted before a Court, and whether the right hon. Gentleman's inspectors have instructions to see that the law is observed?

Photo of Mr William Joynson-Hicks Mr William Joynson-Hicks , Twickenham

It is not in every case that a prosecution takes place. In this case the offence was a first offence. A caution has been administered, and an undertaking has been given that the offence will not be repeated. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that if it is repeated a prosecution will follow.

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

That, if I may say so, does not answer the first part of my supplementary question. I asked the Home Secretary whether the investigation in which he says the worker was proved to be at fault was conducted before any legal authority, or who conducted it?

Photo of Dr Thomas Watts Dr Thomas Watts , Manchester, Withington

Is the Home Secretary aware that Lancashire people are always glad to buy a piece of damaged cloth, which they can get at very low rates?