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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/457

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enables the Education Department to provide school-boards, purchase sites for schools, provide free schools supported by local rates, and enabling school-boards to pay a child's fees, to compel parents to send their children, etc., etc.; we have a further Factories and Workshops Act, making, among other restrictions, some on the employment of women and children in fruit-preserving and fish-curing works. In 1871 we meet with an amended Merchant Shipping Act, directing officers of the Board of Trade to record the draught of sea-going vessels leaving port; there is another Factory and Workshops Act, making further restrictions; there is a Peddlers' Act, inflicting penalties for hawking without a certificate, and limiting the police-district within which the certificate holds, as well as giving the police power to search peddlers' packs; and there are further measures for enforcing vaccination. The year 1872 had, among other acts, one which makes it illegal to take for hire more than one child to nurse, unless in a house registered by authorities, who prescribe the number of infants to be received; it had a Licensing Act, interdicting sale of spirits to those under sixteen; and it had another Merchant Shipping Act, establishing an annual survey of passenger-vessels, as well as an interdict against pilots who are not licensed. Then, in 1875, was passed the Agricultural Children's Act, which made it illegal for a farmer to employ a child who has no certificate of elementary education; and there was passed a Merchant Shipping Act, requiring, on each vessel, a scale showing draught, requiring examination of officers, and prescribing the number of boats and life-preservers. Turn now to Liberal law-making under the present ministry. We have, in 1880, a law which forbids conditional advance-notes in payment of sailors' wages; and also a law which dictates certain arrangements for the safe carriage of grain-cargoes. In 1881 comes legislation to prevent trawling over clam-beds and bait-beds, and an interdict making it impossible to buy a glass of beer on Sunday in Wales. In 1882 corn-factors were required, under a penalty of twenty pounds, to furnish for publication a weekly return of their transactions; municipal bodies were enabled to levy rates for electric lighting; further exactions from rate-payers were authorized for facilitating more accessible baths and wash-houses; and local authorities were empowered to make by-laws for securing the decent lodging of persons engaged in hop-picking, or picking fruit and vegetables. Then, finally, of such legislation during the last session may be named the Cheap Trains Act, which, partly by taxing the nation to the extent of £400,000 a year (in the shape of relinquished passenger duty), and partly at the cost of railway-proprietors, still further cheapens traveling for workmen: the Board of Trade, through the Railway Commissioners, being empowered to insure sufficiently good and frequent accommodation. Again, there is the act which, under penalty of ten pounds for disobedience, forbids the payment of wages to workmen at or within public-houses; there is another Factory and Work-