skilled adult labour was in such short supply that when his Chancellor of the Exchequer warned Prime Minister William Pitt that businesses were becoming unable to pay their taxes to fund the war, he is on record as saying, 'Then we must yoke up the children to work in the factories!'
During the war with revolutionary France, Prime Minister William Pitt was warned that British manufacturers weren't able to pay their taxes. They blamed high wages. With one in ten men away fighting, able adult workers came at a premium and cut into profits. Pitt's advice was short and simple—he is supposed to have told them, "Yoke up the children."
It is told of the younger Pitt that, in looking round for more earners and still more to meet the demands for more money and still more to carry on the war with Napoleon, the great statesman said, "We must yoke up the children to work in the factories." And this was done. I cannot vouch for the story