§ Mr. JOHN WARD
asked what number of males and females were employed in the textile factories, and factories other than textile, in India during 1909 and 1910; and what was the number of accidents, fatal and otherwise, to workers in factories during those years?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
In 1909 the number of persons employed in textile and other factories in British India was 785,491, of whom 618,565 were men, 114,546 women, and 52,380 children. There were 4,018 accidents, of which 125 were fatal. Figures for 1910 are not yet available.
Mr. JOHN WARD also
asked whether children over fourteen years of age are treated as adults by the factory law of India; whether the working hours are eleven for females and twelve for males over that age; and whether there is any intention on the part of the Indian Government to propose legislation to raise the adult age and reduce the hours for factory workers below that age?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The answer to the first question is in the affirmative. Under the Factory Act hitherto in force and under the new Act the working day for women is fixed at eleven hours. For men there has hitherto2164W been no limitation of hours. But the new Act fixes for them, as regards textile factories, a working day of twelve hours. As an alternative to thus limiting the working hours of men the creation of a "young persons" class between the ages of fourteen and seventeen was at one time proposed, but was given up as impracticable on account of the impossibility of ascertaining exact ages in India. The maximum limit of age for "children," has not been altered, as it is in conformity with the physical and social circumstances of life in India. But the provisions of the now Act will in many respects improve the conditions of their employment.