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Parliamentary Grossip.

[by special telegram from our own correspondent.]

Wellington, July 21. Mr Verrall's Bill for the eradication of political lawyers is as follows :—"Where' as it is expedient to simplify legislation and to cheapen costs of litigation, and of mortgage conveyance and transmission of land, no barrister or solicitor in active practice within one year of a general or of a. casual election shall be eligible to be nominated, or to be elected for any seat in the House of Representatives." ' It is possible that a Bill which the Government have promised to introduce, providing for the representation of seamen, will also make provision for Parliamentary election, nominations being written instead of oral. It will be remembered that a deputation waited upon the Hon. Mr Hislop with reference to this subject a week or two ago. Mr Downie Stuart, who has just returned from Dunedin, telegraphed to Government while in that city, that there is a strong feeling there against the policy (which is alluded to as one of obstruction) of the Opposition, and against a second session ; also advising Government to hold firm, and assuring them that their recent manifesto is satisfactory. The Factories and Shop Hours Bill completely revolutionises the law relating to factories and shops. A factory or work room is defined as any office, building, or place in which any number of Chinese or six or more persons of any other race are eaiployed or any other place where steam or mechanical power is used. Any place in which only the ■members of one family are employed without steam or other power, and any place where the employment is carried on for less than three consecutive months in the year, is expressly excluded from the definition. Power is given to the Governor to divide the colony into districts and to appoint inspectors.of factories, workrooms and workshops, as well as medical authorities, for tho purposes of the Act. The registration of factories is made compulsory, and penalties are provided for the conduct of unregistered factories. Careful provision is made as to the sanitary state of all work places, with especial precaution against overcrowding. Except in newspaper offices, no person under 18 and no woman is (except on Saturdays, half-holidays, or when tho Col. Secretary deems rive exigencies'of trade require it) to be employed for more than five hours without an interval of at least; half an hour for a meal. The taking of meals in workrooms is forbidden, and owners of all but the smallest factories are required to provide special eating rooms. Bakehouses, and one or two other industries, are specially dealt with. An age is prescribed below which no person can be employed in respect to any occupation which tends to the shortening of life in manufacturing trades ; for instance no female and no mule under 16 is to be allowed to work more than 48 hours in a week, while 14 is the minimum age for factory or workroom employment. No person under 16 is to be employed unless a medical authority has certified his or her fitness to perform the daily quota of work. Boys under 14 and girls under 16 are not to be permitted to work before 6 a.m., or after 6 p.m. in printing offices. No boys under 16 and no girls under 18 are to work at type-setting more than eight hours, and night work is only to be done by such on the condition that for twelve hours before and twelve hours after it, they are to be off duty. All women and all lads under 18 are to have holidays on Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, the Queen's Birthday, and all public holidays proclaimed by the Governor, besides a half-holiday every Saturday, beginning from 2 o'clock. In any city, borough, or town district where a Saturday halfholiday would be inconvenient, local authority may substitute some other working day. The provision made for the regulation of shop hours enacts that all shops are to close at 7 p.m. on five days of the week and 10 p.m. on Saturdays and on the eve of public holidays. The exceptions to this rule are the businesses of booksellers and news agents, chemists, coffee houses, confectioners, eating houses, restaurants, fruit aud vegetable shops, fish and oyster shops, or tobacconists' shops. The number of hours for which women or lads are to be employed weekly is to be restricted except in the case of the shopkeeper's family. An important provision is that which says that if any person is killed or suffers bodily injury in consequence of the neglect; to properly fence machinery, the occupier of the factory is to be liable to a penalty not exceeding £100, the whole or any part of which may be applied by the Colonial Secretary to the benefit of the sufferer or his family. Parents are to be finable for allowing their children to work in contravention of the Act..

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Bibliographic details

Parliamentary Grossip., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2471, 22 July 1890

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Parliamentary Grossip. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2471, 22 July 1890

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