Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

woman's

15th, 1882

examination, the award of prizes and exhibitions, &c., as will tend in a large degree to undo the good work which has been auspiciously begun. We earnestly ask that such a further capital sum as may prove sufficient to enable the Commissioners to carry out the Act shall be placed at their disposal on the same scale which has worked hitherto so well. And your petitioners will ever pray.”

The PROVOST said that anyone who was capable of reading the signs of the times right well knew that the day was not far distant when the Universities of the country, including the University of Dublin, would freely open their gates to women. He earnestly hoped that that day might come soon. He did not say that it would come in his time, but he was sure it would come. A public meeting was also held in Belfast, March 13th.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON. Miss Emily Sharpe has been appointed one of the Life-governors of the College at a recent meeting.

HALL OF RESIDENCE.-A hall of residence is to be established for women students attending the lectures of University College, Gower Street; the need seems to have arisen since the opening of the College to women. It is proposed to take a house in the neighbourhood of the College in which women-students may reside and study, and to provide a reference library.

It is proposed to admit students who are 17 years of age and upwards, and who have passed the matriculation examination of the London University, or the Oxford or Cambridge Senior Local Examination; in the absence of these or an equivalent, an entrance examination will be obligatory. Arrangements will be made with private tutors to supply such assistance as students may require to supplement their work at the College.

The house of residence will be presided over by a Lady Principal, who will have under her control the internal management, subject to the regulation of the governing body. The terms for residence will approximate to those of an ordinary boarding house. The names of several influential persons are appended to the draft scheme, as approving of it. The promoters of the

woman's

15th, 1882

scheme desire that the hall should also meet the wants of students of the Slade School and the Women's Medical School.

A meeting, at which Lady Goldsmid presided, was held at the Kindergarten College, 31, Tavistock Place, on March 8th, to consider the scheme.

TECHNICAL EDUCATION.—The Central Committee of the Women's Education Union met on February 7th, Mr. R. N. Shore in the chair.

The Report of the Sub-Committee appointed to draw up suggestions for the technical instruction of women as Pharmaceutical Chemists was received and considered. The report embodied a suggestion that the Women's Education Union should promote a Company, the object of which will be to establish a dispensary, to be managed ultimately entirely by women, where women will be trained to pass the Examinations of the Pharmaceutical Society, and obtain the three years' apprenticeship necessary to enable them to act as fully qualified dispensers.

The Sub-Committee was re-appointed with power to add to their number, and requested to draw up a scheme for the proposed Company, to be considered by the Central Committee.

It was decided also, with a view to carry out the scheme of technical instruction, to open a class for Commercial Instruction at 1, Queen Street, Brompton; the course of instruction to include Commercial Arithmetic, Book-keeping, Business Letter and Précis Writing, &c.

BEDFORD SCHOOLS.-Mrs. McDowall (late Miss Benson, of the Oxford High School), has been appointed Head Mistress of the Bedford High School; and Miss Porter, late of the Castletown (Isle of Man) High School, and formerly of the Girls' Granımar School, Bradford, has been appointed Head Mistress of the Modern School. The Schools will open in May next.

SHOP HOURS REGULATION BILL. At the commencement of Parliament the Earl of Stanhope introduced a Bill to regulate the hours of labour of women and young persons who are employed in shops or warehouses for the sale of textile fabrics.

woman s

15th, 1882

The Bill, of which the second reading was fixed for February 28th, was entitled

An Act to regulate the Hours of Labour in Shops and Warehouses, and was as follows:

Whereas by reason of the present labour in shops and warehouses for the sale of textile fabrics and articles of wearing apparel many women and young persons are grievously injured in health :

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

1. This Act may be cited as the Shop Hours Regulation Act, 1882.

2. On and after the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and eighty-three it shall not be lawful for any shop or warehouse for the sale of textile fabrics and articles of wearing apparel, where women and young persons are en:ployed, to be open for more than ten hours in each day.

3. Women and young children shall have the same significance in the Act as in the Factory and Workshops Act, 1878.

4. To meet the exigencies of the season trade, permission may be granted by the Secretary of State for the Home Department for an extension of time to any establishment making an application therefor, but such extension shall not exceed sixty days in each year, nor be for more than two hours in each of said days, and the employers receiving permission for each extension must forward an intimation to the Home Office each night the extension is taken advantage of. The Committee of the Society for the Employment of Women, at a meeting on February 20th, adopted the following petition, which was forwarded to Lord Shaftesbury :

To the Right Honourable the Lords, Spiritual and Temporal, of Great Britain and Ireland in Parliament assembled.

The humble petition of the members of the Committee of the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women in meeting assembled on Friday, February 17th, 1882, at 22, Berners Street, London. Sheweth

That a Bill is now before your Right Honourable House to provide for regulating the hours of labour of young persons and women in shops and warehouses for the sale of textile fabrics and wearing apparel.

That this measure is calculated seriously to impede the employment of women by subjecting their employers to legislative restrictions likely to cause them great inconvenience, from which the employers of men are exempt.

Your petitioners apprehend that the passing of this measure would cause the dismissal from their employment of a great number of women, upon whom much hardship would thus be inflicted.

Wherefore your petitioners humbly pray that your Right Honourable House will restrict the operation of the Bill to young persons and children, omitting all such portions as have reference to the employment of adult women. And your petitioners will ever pray. Signed on behalf of the meeting,

JESSIE BOUCHERETT. Three similar petitions were presented by Lord Cairns from Dublin, two of which were signed by young women in shops.

On the 28th of February Earl Stanhope moved the second reading of the Shop Hours Regulation Bill in the House of Lords.

Earl STANHOPE said the object of this Bill was to protect those persons who were not able to protect themselves by combination or other means, namely, women and girls—from working in shops beyond certain hours. The Bill was only intended to apply to warehouses and shops in which textile fabrics and articles of wearing apparel were sold. It proposed that the hours of labour for women and young person's between the ages of 14 and 18 should be reduced to ten ; but as a longer time would be required at certain periods of the year for the convenience of customers, he proposed that application might be made to the Home Secretary for an extension of the hours of labour during 60 days in the year. The measure was not a new departure, and precedents existed for it in the Factory Acts of 1874 and 1878. The long hours of female labour had been reduced in the West-end by the force of public opinion, but there were districts in London, such as Hackney and Walworth, where it was no uncommon thing to find the hours of labour extending to 13 or 14, and where shops closed at 10, 11, and even 12 o'clock. His proposals had received support out of doors. For instance, the Trades Union Congress had passed a resolution in the autumn, saying that much more was needed than the provisions of his Bill, but that they constituted a step in the right direction. His proposal had also been dvocated by many of the sub-inspectors examined in 1876 by the Royal Commission appointed to consider the effect of the Workshop and Factory Acts. Mr. Sub-Inspector Hudson then said ...

"I should strongly recommend a regulation to be made prohibiting retail shops from being kept open later than 8, except Saturdays.

Such a regulation would be popular among the shopkeepers themselves.” Mr. Sub-Inspector Oswald said :

“ The assistants in shops would regard it as a great boon to be put on the same footing as workroom hands, and the masters would not as a rule object if all were under the same regulations." Mr. Sub-Inspector Johnson said :

" I have before stated in my reports that the long hours and gas

woman's

15th, 1882

To this argu

are thought to be injurious, and that females ought to have some protection." Mr. Sub-Inspector Cameron said :

“In my opinion, the only effectual means of bringing about a cessation of the undoubted hardship implied in attendance behind a counter to the late hours referred to would be to legislate for the absolute closing of all retail premises after a certain hour. As it would adnit of no unfair competition, I imagine retail shopkeepers would themselves become its advocates."

The following case had come under his notice :-A young woman called on a lady to ask whether the Girls' Friendly Society could obtain shorter shop hours, and she went on to say :

“ It is not only for myself I care, but for the younger ones. These hours are ruining them body and soul. We all went into business at a quarter to 8 this morning, and it was exactly 10.15 p.m. when I came out. Fourteen and a half hours on one's feet! We may only sit down for 20 minutes for dinner and 15 minutes to tea; and to-day I was interrupted to go and serve customers three times from dinner and twice from tea." In Liverpool in 1881 in 184 shops the hours of labour were 13 per diem for five days in the week. In 33 shops they amounted to 12. It would be said by some that it would be next to impossible to limit the hours in the way contemplated in his measure. ment, however, a reply had been made in the following words :

“It is possible that in the first instance it might lead a few shopkeepers to attempt to substitute men's labour for that of women and young persons, but I think this would speedily right itself, for I feel sure that it would not be found to pay, for in these shops there is, as a rule, no necessity for late shopping, and very little is actually done." Mr. Assistant-Inspector Walker, referring to the same argument, had said :

“ It is possible that this might be the case in a few instances. But it is believed that this would take place to a very limited extent, as female labour is equally, if not more, suitable in many instances than male, and considerably cheaper." It would be quite possible to throw upon the police the duty of inspecting shops, in order to see that the provisions of the Bill were complied with. On this point Mr. Sub-Inspector Striedinger had given the following evidence :

“If the Legislature of this country should ever interfere with the hours of opening and closing retail shops, offences against such a future enactment could be proved just as easily as the fact of keeping a publichouse open, and the same machinery which is intrusted with the enforcement of the Licensing Act might be used.” The Bill did not contain any clause imposing a penalty, but in cases of non-compliance with the measure, he maintained that a fine could be inflicted in a manner analogous to the infliction of punishment under the Factory Acts. He concluded by moving the second reading of the Bill.

The Duke of SOMERSET recognised that the Bill was brought forward with good intentions. He admitted that it would be worthy

« AnteriorContinuar »