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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/456

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

private property, and charge to the owner; and certain locally-formed bodies had given them power of taxing the locality for rural drainage and irrigation works, and for supplying water to cattle. In 1862 an act was passed for restricting the employment of women and children in open-air bleaching, and an act for making illegal a coal-mine with a single shaft, or with shafts separated by less than a specified space. In 1863 came the extension of compulsory vaccination to Scotland, and also to Ireland; there came the empowering of certain boards to take from rate-payers money to employ and pay those out of work; there came the empowering of town authorities to take possession of neglected ornamental spaces, and rate the inhabitants for their support; and there came the Bakehouses Regulation Act, which, besides specifying minimum age of employés occupied between certain hours, prescribed periodical lime-washing, three coats of paint when painted, and washing with hot water and soap at least once in six months. Of compulsory legislation dating from 1864, may be named an extension of the Factory Act to various additional trades, including regulations for cleansing and ventilation, and specifying of certain employés in match-works that they might not take meals on the premises except in the wood-cutting places. Also there were passed the Chimney-sweepers Act, the act for further regulating public-house closing, the act for compulsory testing of cables and anchors, and the Contagious Diseases Act, which last gave the police, in specified places, powers which, in respect of certain classes of women, abolished sundry of those safeguards to individual freedom established in past times. The year 1865 witnessed further provision for the reception and temporary relief of wanderers at the cost of rate-payers; and another public-house closing act containing sixty-four amendments. Then, under the ministry of Lord John Russell, in 1866, have to be named an act to regulate cattle-sheds, etc., in Scotland, giving local authorities power to inspect sanitary condition, and fix number of cattle; an act forcing hop-growers to label their bags with the year and place of growth, and the true weight, and giving police power of inspection; an act to facilitate the building of lodging-houses in Ireland, and providing for regulation of the inmates; a Public Health Act, under which there is registration of lodging-houses and limitation of occupants, with inspection and directions for lime-washing, etc.; and a Public Libraries Act, giving local powers by which a majority can tax a minority for their books.

Passing now to the legislation under the first ministry of Mr. Gladstone, we have, in 1870, the establishment of state-telegraphy, with the accompanying interdict on telegraphing by any other agency; we have inspection, not only of endowed schools but of registered private schools, and dismissal, without appeal, of teachers and officials not approved; we have a law authorizing the Board of Public Works to give compensation for landlord's improvements; we have the act which