Question: How young have you known children go into silk mills.
Answer: I have known three at six; but very few at that age.
Question: What were your hours of labour?
Answer: From six in the morning till seven at night.
Question: Was it found necessary to beat children to keep them up to their employment?
Question: Did the beating increase towards evening?
Answer: Their strength relaxes more towards the evening; they get tired, and they twist themselves about on their legs, and stand on the sides of their feet.
Question: As an overlooker did you stimulate them to labour by severity?
Answer: Certainly, my employer always considered this indispensable.
Question: Did you not find it very irksome to your feelings, to have to take those means of urging the children to the work?
Answer: Extremely so; I have been compelled to urge them on to work when I knew they could not bear it; but I was obliged to make them strain every nerve to do the work, and I can say I have been disgusted with myself and with my situation; I felt myself degraded and reduced to the level of a slave-driver in such cases.
Question: Is not tying the broken ends, or piecing, an employment that requires great activity.
Question: Does not the material often cut the hands of those poor children?
Answer: Frequently; but some more than others. I have seen them stand at their work, with their hands cut, till the blood has been running down to the ends of their fingers.
Question: Is there more work required of the children than there used to be when you first knew the business?
Answer: Yes; on account of the competition which exists between masters. One undersells the other; consequently the master endeavours to get an equal quantity of work done for less money.