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follow the development of Victorian labour legislation. The first Factory Act was passed in 1873, and undertook, in six sections, the regulation of work in factories and workshops. This Act defined a factory as any room in which not less than ten persons were employed in “preparing or manufacturing articles for trade or sale." Female persons might not be employed for more than eight hours a day, or for a longer period only with the permission of the Minister. The Colonial Secretary could exclude particular establishments from the definition of factory. The Board of Public Health was empowered to issue sanitary regulations; the enforcement of the Act was placed under the supervision of local boards of public health.
In 1882 a Royal Commission was appointed as a result of trade union agitation. After sitting for two years, this Commission issued a report on the sweating system, which served as a basis for the Factories and Shops Act of 1885 (49 Vict., No. 862). This Act defined a factory as any “office, building, or place," in which six or more workers are employed. Employers were obliged to keep a register of work done by outworkers. Other provisions related to sanitation and the prevention of accidents. In 1887 an attempt was made to check the competition of Chinese workmen by an amending Act (the Factories and Shops Amendment Act, 1887; 51 Vict. No. 961), which brought under the definition of factory all workrooms in which two Chinese workmen were employed.
The Acts of 1885 and 1887 were repealed and consolidated in the “ Act to consolidate the law relating to the supervision and regulation of factories and workrooms and the limitation of the hours of trading in shops,” roth July, 1890 (54 Vict., No. 1091 ; the Factories and Shops Act, 1890), which, however, introduced no changes. The Act of 1873 had been repealed by the Act of 1885.
The Consolidated Act of 1890 was amended in 1893 (the Factories and Shops Act, 1893; 57 Vict., No. 1333). The new Act reduced to four the number of workers specified in the definition of " factory," and strengthened the provisions relating to outworkers ; prices paid for outwork had to be notified at once to the Chief Inspector.
Shortly afterwards a Parliamentary Committee, the Factory Act Inquiry Board, was appointed to consider the question of work in factories and the sweating system. As a result of the labours of this Committee, Sir A. S. Peacock (Chief Secretary and Minister of Education in the Turner Cabinet) introduced a Bill in the Legislative Assembly on the 4th July, 1895, which, after a stiff fight, was passed in the Legislative Council on the 28th July, 1896 (the Factories and Shops Act, 1896; 60 Vict. No. 1445). The new Act repealed Act No. 1333 of 1893 and left Act No. 1091 of 1890 in force. It defined a factory as any place in which articles are prepared for trade or sale, and (a) where four or more persons are employed, or (b) where steam, water, gas, petroleum or electrical power is used, or (c) where one or more Chinese are employed, or (d) where furniture is made, or bread or pastry baked for sale. The principal object of the Act was to check the sweating system in connection with outwork. Peacock wanted to prohibit outwork without the special permission of the Chief Inspector, procured in each case, such permission to be granted only to persons who were prevented by domestic duties or physical infirmity from working in factories, and who were, further, dependent upon the proceeds of their home work. The storm of opposition which arose against this clause resulted in the Bill being debated five times in each House ; the Liberal Majority of the Lower House was in favour of strict regulation, the Conservative Majority in the Upper House resisted under the flag of
personal freedom.” After the fifth debate in the Lower House, namely on 5th March, 1896, Parliament was dissolved. During the elections the anachronistic action of the Upper House was much discussed, and when the new Parliament assembled, a compromise was effected. The conditions under which outwork was to be permitted were allowed to drop, and registration with the Chief Inspector of the outworker's name and address took
place of special permission. The second means adopted to combat the sweating system was the institution of Wages Boards or Special Boards, representing employers and employed, to replace, in the manufacture of articles of clothing, furniture and bread, the old system of unregulated contracts of work. The Boards were empowered to fix time and piece work rates, taking into consideration the nature, kind and class of the work, the manner in which the work was carried on, and any matter from time to time prescribed. The Boards had also to fix the proportion of apprentices and improvers to adult workmen, and the wages of apprentices and improvers.
Before the end of the year, the Act of 1896 was amended by an Act dated 24th December, 1896 (the Factories and Shops Amendment Act, 1896 ; 60 Vict., No. 1476), which provided that the Special Board for the Furniture Trade, unlike the other Boards, should be appointed by the Governor in Council, instead of being elected by employers and employed. By this means the Chinese, who are numerous in the furniture trade, were prevented from exerting any influence on the Board.
An Act dated 27th September, 1897 (the Factories and Shops Act, 1897 ; 61 Vict., No. 1518) authorised the Governor in Council to suspend the operation of any Determination of a Special Board. In such cases the Board had to inquire afresh into the matter, and might either adhere to the Determination or amend it.
Certain of the regulations relating to the closing of shops were amended by an Act dated 20th December, 1898 (The Factories and Shops Act, 1898; 62 Vict., No. 1597).
A more important Act was the Factories and Shops Act of 1900, dated 20th February (63 Vict., No. 1654). Under this Act a Royal Commission was appointed to inquire into the working of the Factories and Shops Acts, and the effects of these Acts on work, industry and trade. Henceforward a Special Board might be established for any trade by resolution of either House of Parliament; whereupon more than thirty were established by resolutions adopted in the Lower House. Piecework rates might be determined by employers themselves based upon time rates fixed by the Boards. The Chief Inspector might license old or infirm workers to work for a lower wage than the fixed minimum. The application of the Act of 1896, which had created the Special Boards and which was to remain in force only until the end of the first Parliamentary Session after the ist January, 1900, was continued for two years, reckoned from 1st May, 1900, and thereafter until the end of the current Session.
On 16th July, 1902, a Bill to continue the Act of 1896 and the amending Acts was introduced in the Legislative Assembly, and read a third time on 22nd July, 1902. This Bill contained only two clauses continuing the application of the various Factories and Shops Acts and of the Determinations of Special Boards until the 31st December, 1903. The first reading of the Bill in the Legislative Council took place on 5th August, 1902. Parliament was then suddenly dissolved on the roth September, and so the first Session after Ist May, 1902, contemplated in the Act came to an end. Thereupon all Acts and Determinations ceased to have effect, except any unrepealed provisions of the Act of 1890. But this Act was of scarcely any practical importance, so that the Chief Inspector himself stated in his report for 1902 that for nearly three months there was, in effect, no factory or shop legislation in Victoria. After the elections one of the first Bills introduced was one to continue the old Acts. The Act of 5th December, 1902 (the Factories and Shops Continuance Act, 1902 ; 2 Edw. VII., No 1804) brought the earlier Acts, etc., again into force. The Determinations of all the Special Boards appointed before the 16th July, 1902, with the exception of that of the Fellmongers, Board, came again into force. The Determination of the Brewers' Board also came into force. The Carriage Board was abolished and the powers of the Tinsmiths' Board were limited. A new Fellmongers' Board was to be appointed. In certain Boards in future the chairman was no longer to have a casting yote, and no Determination was to be valid unless at least two employers had voted with the workmen, or two workmen with the employers. No new special Boards were to be appointed. The Act was to remain in force until the 31st October, 1903.
On 19th February, 1903, the Commission appointed by the Act of 1900 presented its report. This report contained numerous recommendations for legislation, to which the Act of 30th October, 1903 (the Factories and Shops Act, 1903 ; 3 Edw. VIII., No. 1857 ; G.B. III., pp. XXXIV., 340) owes its existence. This Act maintained all Factories and Shops Acts in force until zist December, 1905. The validity of Determinations of Special Boards was again made to depend upon a simple majority instead of a majority of at least seven members out of ten, excluding the chairman. Special Boards were in future to be established only by resolution of both Houses. The prices and
. wages fixed were not to be higher than the actual average prices and wages paid by reputable employers to workers of average capacity. Slow workers might work for a lower wage under licence from the Chief Inspector. The proportion of apprentices to adult workers might no longer be fixed. Appeal could be made from the Determination of a Special Board to the Court of Industrial Appeals created by the Act. The Court had to see whether the Determinations referred to it were in accordance with the principles laid down in the Act, and to consider whether the Determination had or might have the effect of prejudicing the progress, maintenance or scope of the industry. The court could introduce into a Determination appealed against any alterations to prevent any injury to the industry, and at the same time to secure a living wage to the employees.
This Act was further extended by an Act dated 30th November, 1904 (the Factories and Shops Act, 1904; 4 Edw. VII., No. 1955 ; G.B. IV., p. 361.)
Thus between 1896 and 1904, eight Acts to amend the Act of 1890 were passed, so that factories and shops were finally subject to nine Acts. These nine Acts were consolidated by an Act dated 6th October, 1905 (the Factories and Shops Act, 1905 ; 5 Edw. VII., No. 1975; E.B. II., p. 38) which is permanently in force, and does not contain any new provisions. The old Acts are repealed.
In the same year the provisions of the Consolidating Act relating to shops were amended by an Act dated 12th December, 1905 [the Factories and Shops Act, 1905 (No. 2); 5 Edw. VII., No. 2008; E.B. II., p. 38). Factories and Shops in Victoria are now regulated by these two Acts.
2. Hours of Work.-A resolution passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate of MASSACHUSETTS on the 23rd and 28th of February, 1906, respectively (E.B. II., p. 24) expresses the opinion that it is desirable to amend the Constitution of the United States in the sense of giving Congress power
to enact laws regulating hours of labour in the several States on some uniform system.
3. Sunday Rest.-A DANISH notification dated 9th January, 1906 (E.B. II., p. 6) adds the vulcanising of indiarubber to the list of industries given in the notification of the 18th August, 1904, relating to exceptions to the rule prohibiting work in factories on holidays. (G.B. III., P. 397.)
4. Hygiene and the Prevention of Accidents.-A DANISH Act, dated 4th April, 1906 (E.B. II., p. 6), imposed upon medical practitioners the duty of notifying accidents sustained by persons employed in agriculture and forestry coming under their notice. This obligation held good during the period from the 15th April to the 15th October, 1906, or the 31st March, 1907, respectively.
In the UNITED KINGDOM, $15 of the Factory and Workshop Act, 1901 (G.B. I., p. 30) empowers district councils to make bye-laws providing for means of escape from fire in factories and workshops, such bye-laws being subject to ratification by the Local Government Board. To facilitate the work of the district councils, the Board has issued model bye-laws, dated June, 1906. (E.B. II., p. 33.)
In pursuance of powers conferred by $6 of the Coal Mines Regulation Act of 1896, the Secretary of State for the Home Department issued, on the 17th December, 1906, an order relating to the use of explosives (E.B. II., p. 33) which repeals all earlier orders on the same subject. This order has been amended by a further order, dated 8th April, 1907 (E.B. II., P. 36), which is now in force together with the earlier order, and which contains a list of explosives defined in both orders.
The Home Secretary has issued two orders (E.B. II., p. 33), in pursuance of $5 of the Notice of Accidents Act, 1906 (E.B. I., p. 474), which empowers him to extend the compulsory notification of accidents to particular classes of accidents in mines, factories or workshops, whether personal injury is caused or not.
In pursuance of $79 of the Factory and Workshop Act, 1901, the Home Secretary issued, on 21st January, 1907, regulations for factories and workshops in which dry carbonate of lead or red lead is used in the manufacture of paints and colours or chromate of lead is produced by boiling (E.B. II., p. 34). The regulations prohibit all employment of women, young persons and children in manipulating lead colour, they require workers in dangerous processes to be medically examined every month and health registers of persons employed to be kept, and they seek to combat the dangers inherent to the industry by rules relating to ventilation, overalls and cleanliness.
5. Payment of Wages.—The payment of wages is regulated in LUXEMBURG by an Act, dated 12th July, 1895, $2 of which allows employers to deduct from wages the cost of (1) lodging, (2) use of land, (3) tools and instruments used in the work and repair of the same, (4) necessary substances, or materials which the workmen are required by custom or agreement to furnish, (5) necessaries of life, (6) clothing, (7) fuel. The goods named under (3) to (7) might be supplied only at cost price, and the supply of alcoholic beverages was expressly prohibited. An Act dated 7th August, 1906 (E.B. II., p. 98) allows employers in future to supply only the articles named under (3) and (4) above, the same to be supplied at cost price and to be deducted from wages. şii of the Act of 1895 excluded from the application of the Act agricultural labourers, servants and workers who customarily receive board and lodging from their employers. The new §11 excludes only the first two classes.
II. Labour Legislation for Particular Trades. Preparation of Food. A NORWEGIAN Act, dated 24th April, 1906 (E.B. II., P. 100), regulating hours of work in bakehouses, takes the place of the Acts of 6th August, 1897, and 20th May, 1899. The principles adopted in existing legislation (prohibition of work on holidays from 6 o'clock on the preceding evening until midnight on the holiday; prohibition of night work, except for drying biscuits and setting the dough to rise, on weekdays from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.; a twelve or ten hours day with breaks ; prohibition of the employment of children under 14, and of young persons at night) remain unaltered. Notwithstanding, certain concessions are allowed-e.g. respecting work done by master bakers themselves on Saturday evenings, permission to begin preparing the dough at 5 a.m.—and the exceptions from the prohibition of work on holidays and at night are re-drafted. If night work, as allowed by the Act, is carried on by the day staff, twice (formerly one and a half times) the period of night work has to be deducted from the period of employment by day.
III. Administration. In the Canton of VALAIS an Order dated 6th February, 1906 (E.B. II., p. 101) confers upon the Cantonal Apprenticeship Secretary the office of factory inspector, and defines the duties of that office.