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1779 (19 Geo. III. c. 49), in 1817 (57 Geo. III. c. 115, and c. 122), and 1818 (58 Geo. III. c. 51).
The former Acts on the subject were repealed by 1 & 2 Will. IV., c. 36. In 1831 the present Truck Act was passed. It consolidated the whole law. It applies only to the trades mentioned in Section 19. Domestic servants and servants in husbandry are excluded from the Act (sec. 20).
1 & 2 WM. IV. c. 37.
[15th October, 1831.] An Act to prohibit the payment, in certain trades, of wages in goods,
or otherwise than in the current coin of the realm. Whereas it is necessary to prohibit the payment, in certain trades, of wages in goods, or otherwise than in the current coin of the realm ; be it therefore enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords spiritual and temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that in all contracts hereafter to be made for the hiring of any artificer (a) in any of the trades hereinafter enumerated, or for the per
(a) For definitions see ss. 19 & 25. For many years after the passing of the Truck Act doubts prevailed as to the class of “artificers” to whom it applied. The Courts decided that it did not apply to persons who did not contract to work personally, and who were not paid by wages in the ordinary way. In Sleeman v. Barrett (1864), 2 H. & C. 934 ; 33 L. J. N. S. Ex. 153, Pollock, C.B., thus defined the class of persons within the Act : “Where persons are employed to do certain work, and are
to receive Wages for their labour, the contract being merely for the labour, in my judgment that is within the Truck Act. But if the contract is not for the labour, but for the result or effect of the labour, as, for instance, a con. tract for the removal of a quantity of clay, that is not within the Act, because there the contract is not for the labour, but for that which the labour is to accomplish.” See also Parke, B., in Riley v. Warden (1848), 2 Ex. 59; 18 L. J. N. S. Ex. 120 ; and Bram
well, B., in Archer v. James (1862), 2 B. & S. 95; 31 L. J. Q. B. 153. The following are the chief cases relative to "artificers":
NoT WITHIN THE ACT. Riley v. Warden (1848), 2 Ex. 59; 18 L. J. N. S. Ex. 20. (Plaintiff had engaged to make a cutting on a projected railway at so inuch a cubic yard. He hired eight or nine men to work with him. Not an “artificer," because he had not contracted to work personally for wages. The Act must be taken “as applicable to those persons only who strictly contract as labourers, that is, to such as enter into a contract to employ their personal services, and to receive payment for that service in wages : Parke, B. Sharman v. Sanders (1853), 22 L. J. N. S. C. P. 86; 13 C. B. 166 ; 3 C. & K. 298. (Plaintiff employed to load and unload, and burn iron-stone for defendants at a certain price per ton, payable at the end of each month, the defen
formance by any artificer of any labour in any of the said trades, the wages of such artificer shall be made payable in the current coin of this realm only, and not otherwise ; and that if in any such contract the whole or any part of such wages shall be made payable in any manner other than in the current coin aforesaid, such contract shall be and is hereby declared illegal, null, and void.
2. And be it further enacted, that if in any contract hereafter to be made between any artificer in any of the trades hereinafter enumeratel and his employer, any provision shall be made directly or indirectly
dants finding the carts and horses. The plaintiff employed men to do
WITHIN THE Act. the work, but from time to time Weaver v. Floyd (1852), 21 L. J. personally assisted in it; not within N. S. Q. B. 151. (A collier, entitled the Act.) Ingram v. Barnes (1857), to employ men to assist him, en7 E. & B. 115 ; 26 L. J. Q. B. ga ged to get coal or iron-stone 82 & 319. (Plaintiff engaged to make from a mine, and to be paid at a as many bricks as defendant required certain rate per ton. It appeared in defendant's brick-field at so much that the collier was bound to give a thousand, the plaintiff finding all personal service ; within the Act.) the labour, defendant all the materials. Bowers v. Lovekin (1856), 6 E & B. Plaintiff, assisted by others, made 584 ; 25 L. J. N. S. Q. B. 371. bricks, and worked personally ; held (Butty colliers, who employed other by Campbell, C.J., and Coleridge, J., men, and who were paid so much a not within the Act, on the ground ton on a yard of coal, but who had that there was no contract to do to work personally, and were treated the work personally, Erle, J., dis- as workmen, within the Act. Erle, J., senting.. Affirmed by Exchequer gave a wide meaning to the Act: “I Chamber, which expressed approval should not assert that, where a miner of Riley v. Warden, and Sharman has contracted to do artificer's work at v. Sanders.) Sleeman v. Barrett wages to be regulated by the piece, (1864), 2 H. & C. 934 ; 33 L. J. he is necessarily out of the protecEx. 153. (Butty colliers working tion of the Act, unless it is expressly in partnership under a verbal con- stipulated that he must work him. tract ; paid generally by the day, but self." Millard v. Kelly (1858), 32 L. sometimes by the ton or yard ; they T. 0. S. 123. (Labourer engaged in worked like ordinary workmen, and carrying iron between certain iron were not allowed to leave the work works and the boats in a canal.) or underlet, but were allowed to em- Lawrence v. Todd (1863), 14 C. B. ploy men to work under them ; not N. S. 554 ; 32 L. J. M. C. 238. (T., within the Act.) Pillar v. Llymvi with six others, agreed to complete an Coal Co. (1869), L. R. 4. C. P. iron vessel, and they were exclusively 752 ; 38 L. J. C. P. 294. (Plaintiff, to serve appellant. They were at a tinman, employed by defendants to liberty to employ other workmen of work, either at piece work'or by day inferior skill, who, as well as themat fixed prices, out of materials sup- selves, were to be subject to the plied by the defendants at varying regulations of the appellant's yard. prices ; plaintiff within the Act as They were to be paid at the rate of being required to give personal ser- £5 per ton ; held that T. and his vice, and not a tradesman.) Philips fellow-workmen were artificers or V. McInnes (1874), 2 R. 224. handicraftsmen within 4 Geo. IV. c. (A foreman at a slate quarry, who 34, s. 3.) Moorhouse v. Lee (1864), was bound to assist workmen when 4 F. & F. 354. (A framework operations were “falling back," or knitter an artificer within the Truck "in need of being pushed forward,”
Act.) not an artificer.)
respecting the place where, or the manner in which, or the person or persons with whom, the whole or any part of the wages due or to become due to any such artificer shall be laid out or expended, such contract shall be and is hereby declared illegal, null, and void.
3. And be it further enacted, that the entire amount of the wages eained by or payable to any artificer in any of the trades hereinafter enumerated, in respect of any labour by him done in any such trade, shall be actually paid to such artificer in the current coin of this realm, and not otherwise ; and every payment made to any such artificer by his employer, of or in respect of any such wages, by the delivering to him of goods or otherwise than in the current coin aforesaid, except as hereinafter mentioned, shall be and is hereby declared illegal, null, and void.
4. And be it further enacted, that every artificer in any of the trades hereinafter enumerated shall be entitled to recover from his employer in any such trade, in the manner by law provided for the recovery of servants' wages, or by any other lawful ways and means, the whole or so much of the wages earned by such artificer in such trade as shall not have been actually paid to him by such his employer in the current coin of this realm.
5. And be it further enacted, that in any action, suit, or other proceeding to be hereafter brought or commenced by any such artificer as aforesaid, against his employer, for the recovery
of any sum of money due to any such artificer as the wages of his labour in any of the trades hereinafter enumerated, the defendant shall not be allowed to make any set-off, nor to claim any reduction of the plaintiff's demand, by reason or in respect of any goods, wares, or merchandise had or received by the plaintiff as or on account of his wages or in reward for his labour, or by reason or in respect of any goods, wares, or merchandise sold, delivered, or supplied to such artificer at any shop or warehouse kept by or belong. ing to such employer, or in the profits of which such employer shall have any share or interest (6).
6. And be it further enacted, that no employer of any artificer in any of the trades hereinafter enumerated shall have or be entitled to maintain any suit or action in any Court of law or equity against any such artificer, for or in respect of any goods, wares, or merchandise sold,
or supplied any such artificer by any such employer, whilst
(6) Law v. Pratt (1843), 1 L. T. O.
(One of the defendants, partner in a manufacturing firm, kept a shop, at which his men were accustomed to get goods on credit
. On the pay-day, once a week, the men who dealt at the shop (the plaintiff being one of them) got from the shop tickets showing their debt, and carried them to the pay clerk, who asked them, “How much of that do
you mean to get ?” and gave them the difference in money.
In an action for wages, to which payment was pleaded, Cresswell, J., directed the jury that this mode of payment was valid. But query.) It would appear that a payment in cash, but on condition that the money be spent in the employer's shop, is within the Act. Olding v. Smith (1852), 16 Jur. 497
in his employment, as or on account of his wages or reward for his labour, or for or in respect of any goods, wares, or merchandise sold, delivered, or supplied to such artificer at any shop or warehouse kept by or belonging to such employer, or in the profits of which such employer shall have any share or interest.
7. And be it further enacted, that if any such artificer as aforesaid, or his wife or widow, or if any child of any such artificer, not being of the full age of twenty-one years, shall become chargeable to any parish or place, and if within the space of three calendar months next before the time when any such charge shall be incurred such artificer shall have carned or have become entitled to receive any wages for any labour by liim done in any of the said trades, which wages shall not have been paid to such artificer in the current coin of this realm, it shall be lawful for the overseers or overseer of the poor in such parish or place to recover from the employer of such artificer in whose service such labour was done, the full amount of wages so unpaid, and to proceed for the recovery thereof by all such ways and means as such artificer himself might have proceeded for that purpose ; and the amount of the wages which may be so recovered shall be applied in reimbursing such parish or place all costs and charges incurred in respect of the person or persons to become chargeable, and the surplus shall be applied and paid over to such person or persons.
8. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent or to render invalid any contract for the payment, or any actual payment, to any such artificer as aforesaid, of the whole or any part of his wages, either in the notes of the governor and company of the Bank of England, or in the notes of any person or persons carrying on the business of a banker, and duly licensed to issue such notes in pursuance of the laws relating to his Majesty's revenue of stamps, or in drafts or orders for the payment of money to the bearer on demand, drawn upon any person or persons carrying on the business of a banker, being duly licensed as aforesaid, within fifteen miles of the place where such drafts or orders shall be so paid, if such artificer shall be freely consenting to receive such drafts or orders as aforesaid, but all payments so made with such consent as aforesaid, in any such notes, drafts, or orders as aforesaid, shall for the purposes of this Act be as valid and effectual as if such payments had been made in the current coin of the realm.
9. And be it further enacted, that any employer of any artificer in any of the trades hereinafter enumerated, who shall, by himself or by the agency of any other person or persons, directly or indirectly enter into any contract or make any payment hereby declared illegal (e), shall for
(c) Athersmith v. Drury (1858), 1 E. & E. 46 ; 28 L. J. M. C. 5. (An employer, the defendant, refused money to a workman's wife, but gavə
her a "shop note," to take to a clerk. The clerk refused money but gave her an order for a shop, which he mentioned. The justices found that
the first offence forfeit a sum not exceeding ten pounds nor less than five pounds, and for the second offence any sum not exceeding twenty pounds nor less than ten pounds, and in case of a third offence, any such employer shall be and be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, being thereof convicted, shall be punished by fine only, at the discretion of the Court, so that the fines shall not in any case exceed the sum of one hundred pounds.
10. And be it further enacted, that all offences committed against this Act, and not hereinbefore declared a misdemeanor, shall be enquired of and determined, and that all fines and penalties for such offences shall be sued for and recovered by any person or persons who shall sue for the same, before any two justices of the peace having jurisdiction within the county, riding, city, or place in which the offence shall have been committed, and that the amount of the fines, penalties, and other punishments to be inflicted upon any such offenders shall, within the limits herein before prescribed, be in the discretion of such justices, or in cases of misdemeanor, of the Court before which the offence may be tried ; and in case of a second offence against this Act, it shall be sufficient evidence of the previous conviction and offence, if a certificate signed by the clerk of the peace or other officer having the custody of the record of such previous conviction, shall be produced before the said justices enquiring of such second offence, in which certificate shall be stated in a compendious form the general nature of the offence for which such previous conviction was had, and the date of such previous conviction ; and so in like manner, upon the trial of any indictment or information for any such misdemeanor as aforesaid, it shall be sufficient evidence of such second conviction for a like offence, if a certificate thereof, signed by the clerk of the peace or other officer having the custody of the record of such second conviction, in such form as aforesaid, be produced to the Court and jury : provided always, that no person shall be punished as for a second offence under this Act, unless the defendant knew and intended when he liked, and the taking of the when he gave the first note, that she goods was wholly optional. Held (by was to get goods and not money. Williams, Willes, Keating, JJ.) that Held (by Campbell, C. J., Wight- an offence had been committed, and man, Erle, Hill, JJ.) that giving of that subsequent payment did not the note was an offence against the purge the offence. Smith v. Walton Act, and was complete at the giving (1877), L. R. 3 C. P. D. 109; 47 L.
Wilson v. Cookson J. M. C. 45 ; 37 L. T. 437. (An arti(1863), 32 L. J. M. C. 177. It is ficer within the Truck Act in the emnot necessary that the payment other ployment of the respondent wove a than in coin should be in pursuance of
piece of cotton cloth which was dea contract; and if a workman of his fective ; the respondent delivered to own accord receives goods, and the him the piece of damaged cloth inmaster deducts the price, it is an stead of a part of the wages which offence under sects. 3 and 9. Fisher v. were due to the appellant ; an offence Jones (1863), 32 L. J. M. C. 177. within the Act. “The respondent Appellant worked for the respondent has deducted the whole value (of the and dealt at his shop. The amounts cloth), and throughout the transacof the purchases were deducted from tion the damaged piece is treated as appellant's pay, but he had his wages part of the cost." Grove, J.)
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of the first note.