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Why was Michael Saddler’s committee set up?

Last updated date: 25th Jun 2024
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Hint: Michael Saddler’s committee was set up to investigate child labour. He chaired a parliamentary committee to investigate working conditions in English textile factories. The Saddler report was often cited as evidence of how the Industrial Revolution caused suffering for workers. The illustration given in Saddler’s report has been offered as a reason for close government regulation of factory owners.

Complete step by step answer:
Saddler was a well-known author of pamphlets insisting on better treatment of factory workers. In 1832, he organized a parliamentary investigation into the condition of children working in textile mills. He was the chairman of the parliamentary committee. Saddler had interviewed eighty-nine child workers in an effort to influence the British Parliament to achieve new laws to safeguard the rights of child workers. In Britain at that time, children who were just eight or nine years old regularly worked for twelve hours a day in textile mills. The Saddler’s report had a major impact at the time of publication and for many decades later. Although Saddler had lost his seat in Parliament in the election of 1832, his report was published and incensed a public outcry against the practice of requiring young children to work for eleven or twelve hours a day. It led to new laws that restricted how many hour young children could work.

Note: Some critics accused Saddler of distorting the picture of conditions in English mills, making the situation appear worse than it was by selecting only the most outrageous cases to publicize. In 1832, employing children in factories was common. The practice had gone on for years as the Industrial Revolution transformed the textile industry, starting in the last quarter of the 1700s.