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Cotton Industry (Hours Of Work)

Volume 236: debated on Tuesday 4 March 1930

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asked the Home Secretary if he is aware of the attempts which are being made to employ women and young persons in a manufacturing process between the hours of 11.30 and 12 noon on Saturdays in textile factories; and if the inspectors of factories are taking any action in the matter?

The Factory Department reports that the usual and almost universal hours of work on Saturdays in the cotton industry are from 7.45 a.m. until 12 noon, with the manufacturing processes stopping at 11.30 a.m. and the half-hour from 11.30 to noon being set aside for cleaning purposes. There are some few instances, particularly where cleaning is done by a special gang, where the manufacturing processes are extended to 11.45 a.m., but apart from these cases the inspectors are not aware of any movement to continue production beyond 11.30 a.m. Under the provisions of Section 24 of the Factory and Workshop Act, 1901, regulating the hours of employment of women and young persons in textile factories, the women and young persons may be employed in a manufacturing process up to 12.30 p.m. on Saturday if the period of employment does not commence before 7 a.m., and the cases mentioned where the manufacturing process is continued up to 11.45 a.m., do not therefore involve any breach of these provisions. If, however, the hon. Member has knowledge of any cases where illegal employment has taken place, and will furnish my right hon. Friend with particulars, he will be glad to have them investigated.