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On 16th November, 1887, the United Kingdom and France concluded an agreement whereby a mixed commission was appointed to maintain order and protect the British and French settlers in the New Hebrides. The want of judicial authority on these Islands led to the conclusion, on 20th October, 1906, of a new Convention (extract, E.B. II., p. 345). Articles 31-56 of the Convention regulate the recruiting of native labourers in the manner which is still customary in the Fiji Islands, Samoa, and the French, German and American possessions in the Pacific Ocean. The Convention requires recruiting vessels to hold licences and to keep registers of engagements. Married women may only be engaged with the consent of their husbands, and unmarried women with the consent of the head of the tribe. Children may only be engaged if they are of a minimum height fixed by the resident Commissioners jointly. The maximum duration of an engagement is fixed at three years, and an engagement may not be renewed thereafter for more than one year, or without the written authority of the resident Commissioner. Sick labourers must be provided for at the expense of the recruiter, and the time during which the illness lasts must be included in the term of engagement. The consent of the labourer and of the resident commissioner, is necessary for a contract to be transferred. Employers are bound to provide labourers with sufficient food (the amount of rice is fixed by the resident Commissioners jointly), adequate shelter, clothing, and medical care during illness. Working hours are fixed from sunrise to sunset, with at least one hour's break at midday. On Sundays only domestic duties and the care of animals are permitted. Wages must be paid in cash, and payments must be made before witnesses. In the absence of any agreement entered in the record of the engagement as to the amount of wages, the monthly wages are to be taken to be ros. (12.50 francs); part of the wages may be deposited, with the consent of the labourer, with the resident Commissioner, or a person appointed for the purpose. Labourers may be punished by the imposition of extra work ; by the prolongation of the term of engagement by not more than two months each year; by fines; or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month. Recruiting agents and employers are liable to fines of from 4s. to £20 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month ; damages may also be awarded to labourers. The Convention also regulates repatriation, the cost of which has to be borne by the employer.
In the Grand-duchy of Luxemburg the publication of the Berne Conventions, ratified on 3rd August, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 99), was authorised by resolutions, dated 10th December, 1907 (E.B. II., pp. 392-3). The Swiss Confederation has also ratified the Conventions (E.B. II., p. 427).
2. National Labour Legislation
I. Labour Legislation of General Application.
Protection of Children and Young Persons ; Apprenticeship. As the BULGARIAN Act regulating the organisation of handicrafts and corporations, dated 20th June/3rd July, 1903 (Extract given in G.B. III., pp. XXXIII. and 321) was drawn up on the model of the Roumanian Act of 5th March, 1902 (Extract given in G.B. I., pp. XXIX. and 444), so the regulations for the enforcement of the Bulgarian Act (dated 23rd July/5th August, 1905 ; E.B. II., p. 362) follow closely the Roumanian regulations of 17th/30th August, 1902 (title, G.B. II., p. 550 ; text, Annuaire de la Législation du Travail, 1902, p. 585). The provisions of the Bulgarian regulations relating to apprenticeship are given hereafter (see pp. 363-4) The points of difference between the two sets of regulations correspond to those in the Acts themselves, which are pointed out in the introductory notes on the Bulgarian Act. (See G.B. III., p. XXXIII.)
Protection of Women. $41 of the BRITISH Factory and Workshop Act (G.B. I., p. 30) excludes two operations from the application of the provisions relating to the employment and hours of work of women and young persons, namely, the preserving and curing of fish which must be carried out immediately on the arrival of the fishing boats and the cleaning and preparing of fruit during the months of June, July, August and September. The employment of women in the second of these operations was regulated by an Order dated 17th June, 1902, issued in pursuance of $58 of the Act. A new Order was issued on 11th September, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 389), strengthening the provisions of the old Order, which it repeals.
3. Sunday Rest and Saturday Afternoon Holidays. It appeared from reports issued by the Administrative Presidents of the Government districts of Silesia and Posen that certain sugar factories in the provinces were in the habit of unloading beetroot from railway trucks and of loading sliced beetroot, contrary to law, on Sundays. These processes ought, however, not to be carried on on Sundays, except in emergencies or in the public interest ($1050, par. I, of the Industrial Code), or in order to prevent disproportionate loss, in which case the permission of the lower administrative authorities must be procured ($1057, par. I, of the Ind. Code). A PRUSSIA Ministerial Decree has accordingly been issued requiring the strict enforcement of these provisions in sugar factories. (E.B. II., p. 356.)
The Imperial Chancellor, in a circular letter, dated 26th November, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 359, Appendix A), submitted to the Federated Governments a draft Bill to amend the provisions of the Industrial Code relating to Sunday rest in commercial occupations (E.B. II., P. 359, Appendix B). This Bili, which is based on the principle that complete rest should be prescribed on Sundays, was brought to the notice of the Administrative Presidents of Government districts by a PRUSSIAN Ministerial Decree, dated 19th December, 1907. (E.B. II., P. 357.)
In accordance with an Order dated 20th April, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 361), a weekly rest of 24 hours must be allowed in all industrial occupations in BOSNIA AND HERZEGOWINA. This must be given on Sundays in the case of Christian workers, and may be postponed to another day, in view of special industrial
needs only with the sanction of the Provincial Government. Notwithstanding, workmen may be employed on days of rest in carrying on urgent processes, provided that notice is sent to the industrial authority.
In such cases, a compensatory day of rest of 24 hours must be allowed if they are employed on the usual rest day for more than 3 hours.
In BELGIUM, $7 of the Act of 17th July, 1905, respecting Sunday rest in industrial and commercial establishments (G.B. IV., p. 194) permits the employment of workmen and assistants in retail shops on Sunday mornings from 8 to 12 o'clock (except in certain cases specified in $4). The same Section allows these hours to be altered or extended. The authorities usually make use of their powers in this respect about Christmas time (cf. E.B. I., p. 425), and accordingly issued a Decree, dated 17th November, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 362) permitting business to be carried on in retail shops in the most important towns of Belgium for 10 hours, taken between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., on 24th November and ist, 22nd and 29th December, 1907. Every person so employed had to be allowed a half-holiday in the course of these two months.
The DANISH Sunday Rest Act of 22nd April, 1904 (G.B. III., pp. XL, 394) prohibits Sunday work, in general, in industrial and commercial occupations. Certain branches of industry were permanently exempted from this prohibition by a notification, dated 18th August, 1904 (G.B. III., P. 394), and further industries have been added to the list of exemptions by another notification, dated 1st February, 1905. (E.B. II., p. 369.) $4 of the SPANISH Sunday Rest Act of 3rd March, 1904 (G.B. III., pp. XX.
, and 167), gives associations and societies having legal capacity, power to in. clude in agreements concluded in accordance with their rules provisions relating to Sunday rest, provided that such provisions are not contrary to the Act, and are not likely to prejudice the work or rest of other workers. Contracts were, in accordance with $5 of the Administrative Order in pursuance of the Act dated 19th August, 1904 (G.B. IV., pp. LIV., 403), held to be likely to prejudice the work or rest of other workers, if complaints to this effect were upheld as well-grounded by the Inspectors of the Institute for Social Reform. The decision of the Institute for Social Reform on appeals was final. In pursuance of $$13 and 14 of the Administrative Order of 19th April, 1905, issued in pursuance of the same Act (Bol. del Instit. de Ref. Soc. I., 845). the inspectors of the Institute are also required to give opinions on appeals; but appeal lies in the last instance not to the Institute, but to the Ministry. More recently, an Order, dated 26th June, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 374) has been issued, containing explanatory regulations respecting the conclusion, validity and dissolution of such agreements.
The RUSSIAN Order of 19th November/2nd December, 1906, regulating periods of rest of commercial assistants (E.B. I., p. 541) fixed a certain number of holidays which were to be allowed to assistants, and contained a list of operations for which these days of rest were not compulsory. An Order, dated 12th/25th September, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 426) rearranges the various provisions of the Sections in question, simplifies the list of exceptions and, at the same time, extends the powers of urban and provincial Zemstvos as regards the issue of compulsory regulations permitting Sunday work.
A Decree of the Canton of TESSIN, dated 17th April, 1906 (E.B. II., p. 427), prohibits Sunday work in beer depots after midday. A second Decree, dated 3rd May, 1906 (E.B. II., p. 427) extends this prohibition to lemonade and seltzer water factories and depots.
4. Industrial Hygiene and the Prevention of Accidents. In response to an inquiry respecting the enforcement of the AUSTRIAN Ministerial Decree of 23rd November, 1905 (title, E.B. I., p. 11) relating to the protection of the life and health of workmen, a Decree was issued by the Minister of Commerce on 20th October, 1906, relating to tests for the suitability of workplaces. (E.B. II., p. 360.)
The Town Council of VIENNA prohibited, in principle, the use of whitelead and red lead in municipal works, by a resolution adopted on 5th March, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 360). Exceptions are permitted only in cases where the use of these materials is absolutely necessary for technical reasons.
Ş8 of the DANISH Act relating to work in factories and similar undertakings and to the public supervision of the same (G.B. I., p. 13) empowers the Minister of the Interior to issue regulations relating to requirements to be satisfied in the various classes of factories and workshops in the matter of size, construction, lighting, heating, ventilation, etc. In pursuance of this Section, the Minister of the Interior has issued regulations relating to hygienic conditions in book-printing works and type foundries, dated 9th January, 1904 (G.B. IV., p. 261), in the preparation of cigars and tobacco, dated 1st June, 1904 (G.B. IV., p. 323), in iron foundries and machine factories, dated 30th August, 1906 (Ē.B. I., p. 283), and in shoe factories, dated 3rd December, 1906 (E.B. II., p. 371.)
$5 of the French Decree dated 29th November, 1904, relating to the health and safety of workmen (G.B. III., p. 404) provides in paragraph 4 that all closed workrooms must be adequately heated“ in winter.” The Minister of Labour having been consulted as to the meaning of the term " in winter," declared, after consultation with the Comité consultatif des Arts et Manufactures, in a Circular dated 27th May, 1907 (title, E.B. II., p. 381), that “ winter" was not to be reckoned as the period from 22nd December to 21st March, but
the cold season.”
In the NETHERLANDS the Decree of 27th June, 1905, relating to work in caissons (E.B. I., p. 198), has been replaced by a Decree dated 26th January, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 393), which amends and supplements the earlier regulations in certain minor points.
5. Payment of Wages. A SPANISH Order, dated 18th July, 1907 (E.B. II., P. 377), prohibits employers, overseers, etc., from establishing shops or canteens in connection with their undertakings and from paying wages in certain places or in other than legal currency. In MANITOBA the Legislature adopted, on 5th February,
1907, a resolution respecting fair wages clauses in Government contracts (E.B.' II., p. 391), which was largely a copy of that passed by the Parliament of Canada in March, 1900, on the motion of the Hon. Sir W. Mulock, Postmaster-General and Minister of Labour. It was stated in the discussion that if the department concerned were not able to administer the resolution satisfactorily, it would be possible to take up the matter by legislation and provide machinery for carrying out the principle of the resolution.
A letter of the FRENCH Minister of War, dated the 16th April, 1907 (title, E.B. II., p. 380) requires that soldiers employed in the upkeep of mines during strikes must be paid the same wages as ordinary workmen.
In FRANCE an Act was passed on the 13th of July, 1907 (E.B. II., p. 382), relating to the wages of married women and the contribution of husbands and wives towards household expenses. This Act is attributable to the