Question: What is your employment?
Answer: I am employed in the management of cotton-mills in Scotland, the property of James Findlay and Company, merchants in Glasgow. I am also a partner.
Question: How many years have you been employed in the cotton-spinning business?
Answer: About thirty-three years.
Question: What number of persons are employed in the different works?
Answer: I can only speak to the works under my particular management. There are 875 employed at the Catrine works.
Question: How many of those are under ten years of age?
Answer: Twenty-two males and thirty-seven females.
Question: What is the youngest labourer you employ?
Answer: I suppose the youngest may be eight or nine: we have no wish to employ them under ten years of age.
Question: What circumstances have led you to employ any under that age?
Answer: The circumstances, generally the condition of their parents; people with large families, who find great relief from having a child or two put in the factory at an earlier age.
Question: Of the 875 persons, how many are there who cannot read?
Answer: There are eleven males and twenty-six females.
Question: How many who cannot write?
Answer: 660, I think.
Question: What are your hours of work?
Answer: They begin at six o'clock in the morning, they stop at half-past seven at night, and they are allowed half an hour for breakfast and an hour for dinner.
Question: What has been the state of the health of those children that work in your factory?
Answer: Generally very good; much the same as those children in the neighbourhood who are not employed in work.
Question: Suppose the children were taken at six years of age, do you think they would be able to work that number of hours without great indisposition?
Answer: I have seen many instances of children that were taken in even as young as six, whose health did not appear at all to suffer; on the contrary, when they got to maturity, they appeared as healthy, stout, people as any in the country.
Question: Not crippled in their growth?