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?
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.
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.