§ MR. MADDISON (Sheffield, Brightside)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether only inspectors of factories or mines are empowered under the Truck Act, 1896, to 643 demand in writing the contract, or a true copy thereof, made by an employer with the employees respecting fines, or to examine the register of fines such measure stipulates shall be kept open for inspection; and, if only such inspectors are competent to perform these duties, whether he is aware that on railways these inspectors have no jurisdiction, the effective operation of the Act being thus rendered impossible?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir M. WHITE RIDLEY, Lancashire, Blackpool)
It is quite true that the only inspectors who have jurisdiction under the Act are the inspectors of factories and mines, and that the working of railways does not fall within their province. I cannot agree, however, that the effective operation of the Act is thus rendered impossible, as the Act provides for the workman himself obtaining, on demand a copy of the contract or of the notice containing its terms; and in regard to the register, though there is no inspector whose duty it is to examine it in the case of railways, it would, in the event of a prosecution, be available for production in court as evidence.
§ MR. MADDISON
Does not the right honourable Gentleman think that the deterrent value of the register of fines is in such cases——