HC Deb 30 June 1843 vol 70 cc483-4
Sir James Graham,

> in answer to questions put by Mr. Hawes, said, he believed that as the law existed, and as he proposed it to stand, it would be very much the same. At the present time, those who were subjected to the compulsory law were persons between the ages of nine and thirteen. It was proposed to reduce the age from nine to eight. At present children were liable to work in factories for eight hours, and to be educated at any period during the twenty-four hours. It was now proposed that the children should only work six hours and a half each day; and that they should not work both in the forenoon and the afternoon; but that the six hours and a half should either be in the forenoon or in the afternoon, and that in five days out of seven they should be educated for three hours, either in the forenoon or in the afternoon. By the present law, no notice was taken as to the place where the education was given, or as to the system of instruction that was adopted. Now, it was proposed by the present bill that the Privy Council should have the power to appoint inspectors to visit all the schools to which certificates were granted; and on receiving a report from the inspectors as to the inconvenience of the place, or as to any objection in the method of education pursued, the Privy Council were empowered to notify to the schoolmaster the defect so reported; and unless within three months that defect should be remedied, the Privy Council would have the power of stopping the grant made to the school. He believed he had now stated exactly the extent of the alterations proposed, without omitting anything of the least importance.