Page images
PDF
EPUB

prised all of the provisions of those statutes in force respecting workshops (c).

The Acts applied, either by express enactment or by necessary implication to the whole of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. And their enforcement was mainly secured by the very efficient system of inspection instituted by the provisions in that behalf of the statutes of 1833 and 1844.

It was at the beginning of the present century that the efforts of the legislature were first effectually directed towards the object of ameliorating the condition of children and young persons employed in manufacture, resulting in 1802 in the passing of 42 Geo. 3, c. 73, intituled “An Act for the «« preservation of the health and morals of apprentices and

others, employed in cotton and other mills, and cotton and “ other factories." The operation of this statute, however, was limited to the manufacture of cotton and wool, and applied only to those mills and factories wherein three or more apprentices, or twenty or more other persons, were employed.

It was afterwards amended from time to time by various Acts, making several important additions to its provisions (see 59 Geo. 3, c. 66; 60 Geo. 3, c. 5; 6 Geo. 4, c. 63 ; 10 Geo. 4, c. 51 ; 10 Geo. 4, c. 63): but all these amending Acts were afterwards expressly repealed by 1 & 2 Will. 4, c. 39, s. 1. This statute, which was intituled, “ An Act to “ repeal the Laws relating to Apprentices and other young “ Persons employed in Cotton Factories and Cotton Mills, “ and to make further Provisions in lieu thereof,” and comprised a full code of provisions regulating the employment of labour in factories (so much so, indeed, as to seem to supersede and virtually repeal 42 Geo. 3, c. 73), was itself repealed by the Factory Act, 1833 (d), thus leaving 42 Geo. 3, c. 73, the only one of the earlier statutes unrepealed.

The statutes of 1833 and 1845 (3 & 4 Will. 4, c. 103,

(c) 34 & 35 Vict. c. 104 (Factory and Workshop Act, 1871), s. 2. (d) 3 & 4 Will. 4, c. 103, s. 48.

and 7 & 8 Vict. c. 15) together constituted the foundation of the laws in force for the regulation of labour in factories throughout the United Kingdom up to the time of the passing of the Factory and Workshop Act, 1878. They were the results of much agitation amongst the classes most nearly interested in or affected by them, as well as of many

Parliamentary and other official inquiries of a laborious and exhaustive character into the whole subject (e).

These statutes brought the manufactures of several materials besides cotton and wool (to which alone 42 Geo. 3, c. 73, had applied,) within the factory law, and established the machinery of inspection, by means of which the provisions of the Acts have been hitherto enforced.

In the following year was passed 8 & 9 Vict. c. 29

(e) It is not within the scope of this work to trace the course of the movement in which the factory laws originated, or to review the history of their gradual development. Reference for the purpose of information upon this subject may with advantage be made to THE ENGLISH FACTORY LEGISLATION,” by Ernst Edler Von Plener (First Secretary to the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Embassy in London), translated from the original German by F. L. Weinman; with an Introduction by A. J. Mundella, Esq., M.P.; London, Chapman & Hall, 1873. This treatise comprises within 200 pages an able and succinct history of the development and present working of the factory legislation in England, and of the causes which gave rise to it. “A special value and “interest attaches to Herr Von Plener’s history at this moment, “ from the fact that in almost all countries where manufacturing is “conducted on an extensive scale, and where the social and educa" tional condition of the people is an object of public solicitude, steps “ are being taken to adopt and extend the principles of the English

factory legislation.”—Mr. Mundella's Introduction, p. viii. The work was prepared with the view of promoting the carrying out of similar legislative measures on the Continent. It comprises a luable appendix, containing abstracts of continental laws and regulations respecting the labour and education of children and young persons employed in factories, workshops, &c.

(intituled_“An Act to regulate the labour of Children, • Young Persons, and Women in Print Works ”), which consisted of a series of enactments, applying the principles of the Factory Acts to print works as therein defined. 33 & 34 Vict. c. 62 (Factory and Workshop Act, 1870), s. 3. But this Act together with its amending Act, 10 & 11 Vict. c. 70, was repealed, and those works were comprised within the provisions of the Factory Acts as “ factories.” Id., ss. 4, 5.

The Factory Act, 1850 (13 & 14 Vict. c. 54), after repealing so much of the previous Acts, including 10 & 11 Vict. c. 29 (which had been passed in the interval for the purpose of limiting the hours of labour of young persons and females), as limited the hours of labour of young persons and women, substituted other provisions with respect to that matter.

So, by the Factory Act, 1853 (16 & 17 Vict. c. 104), a like provision was made with respect to children (that is, persons under the age of thirteen years).

By the Factory Act, 1856 (19 & 20 Vict. c. 38), some of the provisions of the Act of 1844 relating to dangerous machinery were amended.

In the year 1860, 23 & 24 Vict. c. 78 was passed, intituled “An Act to place the employment of Women, Young

Persons, and Children in Bleaching Works and Dyeing “Works under the regulations of the Factories Acts." It contained enactments applying the principles of the Factory A.cts to those works as therein defined. 33 & 34 Vict. c. 62,

But this Act, together with its amending Acts (25 & 26 Vict. c. 8; 26 & 27 Vict. c. 38; 27 & 28 Vict. c. 98), were repealed, and the works in question subjected to the immediate operation of the Factory Acts as “factories within the definition of the Factory Acts Extension Act, 1867 (30 & 31 Vict. c. 103, s. 3). Id., ss. 4, 5.

The manufacture of lace had been expressly excepted from the interpretation of the term "factory” under the Factory Acts. (See 7 & 8 Vict. c. 15, s. 73; post, p. 127). But by 24 & 25 Vict. c. 117, factories in which machines for the manufacture of lace were moved by steam or water power were brought within the operation of the Factory Acts.

s. 3.

In 1862, a Royal Commission (The Children Employment Commission, 1862) was again appointed to inquire into the employment of children and young persons in trades and manufactures not then already regulated by law (f). Inquiries of a very exhaustive character were thereupon made, and upon the recommendations contained in the reports issued from time to time by the Commissioners was based the subsequent legislation upon the subject.

Thus, by The Factory Acts Extension Act, 1864 (27 & 28 Vict. c. 48), six manufactures and employments were added to those then already regulated by law, namely, those of the manufactures of earthenware (except brick and tiles, not being ornamental tiles), lucifer matches, percussion caps, cartridges, and the employments of paper-staining and fustiancutting

And by the Factory Acts Extension Act, 1867 (30 & 31 Vict. c. 103), the Acts were so extended as to comprise within their general operation nearly all the manufacturing trades and employments. For, besides the considerable number of them there specifically defined as factories, it was also enacted, that there should be included within the meaning of that term “any premises, whether adjoining or separate, in the same occupation situate in the same

city, town, parish, or place, and constituting one trade “establishment, in, or on, or within the precincts of which "fifty or more persons are employed in any manufacturing process.” S. 3.

This statute was accompanied by another passed in the same Session of Parliament, intituled The Workshop Re“gulation Act, 1867" (30 & 31 Vict. c. 146); the object of which was to apply some of the principles of the Factory Acts to manufactures conducted on a smaller scale than that which would bring them within the operation of those Acts.

Ву “ The Factory and Workshop Act, 1870," the Acts which had till then been in force for the regulation of bleach

(f) A Royal Commission had been appointed with the same object in 1840 ; and it was upon their recommendations that the Act of 1844 was passed.

[ocr errors]

ing and dyeing works, and print works, were severally repealed, and it was thereby enacted that those works should be “factories” within the Factory Acts Extension Act, 1867.

In the following Session two statutes were passed, the first of them being “ The Factory and Workshop (Jews) Act, “1871 ” (34 Vict.c. 19), for the purpose of partially exempting Jews from the restriction against employment on Sunday ; the other being “ The Factory and Workshop Act, 1871" (34 & 35 Vict. c. 104), which, without further extending the operation of the Factory Acts, except in the case of the manufacture of bricks and tiles (s. 5), made a few important changes in the law respecting the enforcement of the Workshop Acts by the factory inspectors and sub-inspectors, and respecting the mode of proceeding against offenders against the Factory Acts.

Lastly was passed the Factory Act, 1874 (37 & 38 Vict. c. 44). The application of this statute was limited to factories as defined by the Factory Acts, 1833 to 1856, and lace factories as defined by the Lace Factory Act, 1861. It contained important provisions as to the hours of employment and refreshment. It raised the minimum age of a child to fourteen years except in cases where the prescribed educational standard had been reached. S. 12.

The result of the legislation thus cursorily reviewed above was that the principles and general regulations of the Factory Acts had come to be applied to a greater or less extent, and in 1878 still controlled the numerous manufactures, works, and employments specifically mentioned in the Acts, as well as all such premises as came under the general definitions of factories and workshops under the Factory Acts Extension Act, 1867 (9), and the Workshop Regulation Act, 1867 (n).

(g) “Any premises, whether adjoining or separate, in the same occupation, situate in the same city, town, parish, or place, and

constituting one trade establishment, in, on, or within the precincts of which fifty or more persons are employed in any manufacturing

process.” 30 & 31 Vict. c. 103, s. 3. (h) “Any room or place whatever, whether in the open air or

« EelmineJätka »