§ Mr. Fielden
rose to move, that it be an instruction to the committee on the Poor-law Continuance Bill, to introduce a clause into the bill for the repeal of the Poor-law Amendment Act. The hon. Member said, that nothing but a sense of duty, and a settled conviction in his own mind, that the Act had failed either to amend the administration of relief to the poor, or to accomplish the specific effects which its promoters said it would secure, added to the fearful apprehensions he entertained of the danger of continuing this law, would have induced him to take this course. He had, from the introduction of the bill into that House in 1834, to the present lime, maintained that there was no necessity for such an Act, and that what was called the abusive administration of relief to the poor under the law as it then stood, was not caused by the poor themselves, nor by any defect in the law, but was the effect of excessive taxation, of alterations from lime to time in the currency, of Corn-laws to make food dear and sustain rents, of laws to repeal the tax on property, and raise the revenue by taxes on every article that ought to be largely consumed by the poor, and lastly, 661 by the bill of 1819, which, by contracting the currency, doubled the pressure of taxation on the people, and withdrew from thousands the means which they would otherwise have had of employing the poor, and paying them wages adequate to their; proper maintenance. There was not one of the causes to which he had referred, and which were all consequent on Acts of Parliament, that had not produced a necessity for the relief of the poor being; administered, as to its amount, according; to the wants of the poor in every one of the parishes to which they belonged. Where labour was scarce and wages low, the labourer had a right to more relief out of the provisions made for him by the Poor-law than where work could be had in plenty and was properly paid for; and these resident among the poor were the best judges of the merits of every applicant. It was absurd to attempt by a central board, sitting in London, to lay down any regulation that could operate justly towards either the poor or the rate-payer, or to carry into effect any uniform practice of administration by means of a self-acting test. The experiment had not succeeded, but the trial of it had been attended by harsh treatment, and wanton neglect of the poor, such as was disgraceful to the age. Were the Act passed and the despotic power conferred upon the commissioners by it intended to bring on us that disgrace? Unless the numerous harsh cases of treatment and neglect of the poor which had been proved before committees of that and the other House of Parliament, and the statements made in debates on this bill and former discussions in that House—unless the Act be in effect repeated or the truth of those cases and statements be denied, his question must be answered in the affirmative. Every one who had any knowledge of the real state of the poor of this country when the Act was passed, knew that such distressing consequences would result from the attempt to carry it into execution by the despotic power the Act created. Repeated predictions were made in that House, when the bill was under discussion, that the poor would be subjected to severe privation, loss of life, and all the other distressing circumstances which were now matters of history, if an attempt were made to carry out this inhuman and unjustifiable law; and repeated supplications were made to Lord Althorp on that occasion by many 662 hon. Members, that the onse should pause in its proceedings on the measure, but these supplications were without effect. Lord Althorp, on bringing in the bill, in 1834, stated that, for a long period of years, the administration of the Poor-laws had been free from the evils and abuses then connected with it, and he dated their origin at about, the beginning of the present century, soon after the 36th of Geo. 3rd was passed, about the time when cash payments had been suspended at the Bank, which led to an increase of paper money, causing a rise of prices of the necessaries of life, unaccompanied by a corresponding rise of wages, and consequently great suffering among the poor, and a greater number of applications for relief. The Act of the 36th George 3rd was passed at the instance of Mr. Pitt, to ensure this relief and thereby put a stop to the complaints of distress, and it proved that the change then made in the currency was the immediate cause of an increased amount of relief being given to the poor at that period; and, as taxes and rents had gone on increasing, relief to the poor had, on every subsequent alteration of the laws he (the hon. Member) had named, been altered to suit the new state of things, which the law created. Mr. Cobbett wrote a little work, after the Poor-law Amendment Act was passed, entitled "Cobbett's Legacy to Labourers," with a dedication to the right hon. Member for Tamworth. Every one who was desirous of understanding the question of Poor-laws would do well to read this little work. In his dedication, he gave the amount of Poor-rates and of Government taxes, at different, times, at follows:—
and he adds, "ought not the insolent calumniators of the industrious classes of England to blush at the sight of this? Ought not these impudent and unfeeling men to think a little of the consequences of their thus wantonly calumniating this laborious people, and calling them idle sturdy vagabonds? Must it not be evident to every one, that the increase of Poor-rates has arisen from the increase of seats and the increase of taxes, and not at all from any defect in the Poor-laws, nor from any defect in their administration by overseers and magistrates? How comes it that they never produced all this mass of evil attributed to them in the course of 200 years?"
Poor Rates. Government Taxes. Reign of James II. £160,000 £1,300,000 1776 1,490,000 8,000,000 1789 2,250,000 16,000,000 1833 6,700,000 52,000,000
663 If further proof be required that alterations in the currency placed the poor in new circumstances, and, either increased or diminished the necessity for more or less relief being afforded to them, we had this proof in the act of 1833, which made bank notes a legal tender at all places but the bank. The announcement of it by Lord Althorp, when he submitted his resolutions in April, 1833, gave use to an advance of most raw materials used in manufactures in a very short lime, of nearly 50 per cent. The joint-stuck banks, which till then had been cautious in their accommodations to their customers, became much less so; the other banks became more liberal too. Money increased in quantity, trade revived, agriculture also in a short time became more healthy, railways were projected, and labour became abundant, and, until 1837, when a check was given to public confidence from the hint that the Bank threw out that it must curtail its issues, poor-rates decreased in amount. To this altered state of things, produced by making bank-notes a legal tender, which led to increased issues, and afterwards to contraction, may as well be attributed the reduction in the amount of relief to the poor as to any of the cruel measures of the Poor-law Commissioners. And we now find, that what they were allowed to do without producing a general impression that it was wrong, is now followed by a general impression that what they did is so, when credit has been shaken, employment become uncertain, and wages of labour reduced, which reduction of wages has become more easy to effect by the introduction of the self-acting test; by the increased difficulty of obtaining relief which that test imposes on those really deserving of it, and who are plunged into deep distress by no fault of their own, and by circumstances they could not control. The commissioners themselves say this in their last report:—The depressed condition of the manufacturing population, to which we have already adverted, and the disquietude of the public mind occasioned by the chartist riot at Newport, in Monmouthshire, rendered us extremely unwilling to take any step in the manufacturing districts of Lancashire which might have even a remote tendency to produce a disturbance, or which might be used by designing persons as a pretext for agitation.At the period when the principle of 664 administering relief to the poor could be best tested and shown to be good, at that period the commissioners confessed their unwillingness to carry the law into execution. Who but the commissioners could anticipate disturbance from directing that proper relief should be extended to the poor in trying circumstances, and carrying into execution what the noble Lord tells us is a humane and benevolent law? That showed not only the absurdity of a central board to lay down rules of relief, but their impotency to carry out any rule on the subject, and of the wickedness of the attempt, because of the suffering it inflicts, and of the sympathy excited by this suffering amongst the humane portion of the people of England. There was, it was true, in that House, many who professed to be liberal Members, who had expressed opinions different from his on the principle of the Poor-law Amendment Act. They admitted it was based on centralisation, and pronounced the principle to be a good one. He (Mr. Fielden) was at issue with them, and he maintained the principle to be bad. They said it was compatible with local government. He would assert that it was destructive of local government, and opposed to good government. They said that the delegation of the power to make laws to three commissioners at Somerset House was not unconstitutional; but he maintained that it was—that it was erecting a despotic power to dictate what should be done, and what should not be done, in every parish in England, with regard to the administration of relief to the poor. Who should decide? The intentions of these hon. liberal Members might be good, but he feared they had never studied the principles of good government, and he would tell them what a high authority had written on this subject of centralisation. In Jefferson's Memoirs there was this passage:—It is not by the consolidation or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected. Were not this great country already divided into states, that division must be made, that each might do for itself what concerns itself directly, and what it can do so much better than a distant authority. Every state again is divided into counties, each to take care of what lies within ifs local bounds; each county again into townships or wards, to manage minuter details; and every ward into farms, to be governed each by its individual proprietor. Were we 665 directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.That was what a real liberal said was necessary to effect good government. We had this distribution of power in England; the republic of America adopted what they admired in English institutions. They adopted our poor-law, the same mode of taxing the people to provide a fund for the relief of the poor, and the administration of relief founded on the principle laid down in the 43d of Elizabeth. We had departed from that principle, and had made new divisions of the county, and given power to a central board in London to direct the administration of relief in most of the parishes of England, and what was the consequence? Those who should now administer relief being directed from London how it should be afforded, the poor are denied that relief to which they have as good a claim as the landlord to his estate, and they do not only "wane bread," but they perish of hunger and of cold. Such had been the effect of the centralisation experiment. No one could deny it, and the people of England were now saying, whatever either liberal or other hon. Members might say to the contrary, that that system of centralisation shall not continue, and that local parochial government shall be restored. The people of England also said with him (Mr. Fielden), that the delegation of power to the central board at Somerset House, to make rules and regulations that are to have the effect of law, and the non-observance of them to be punished by pains and penalties, such as the Poor-law Amendment Act directs, was unconstitutional. He (Mr. Fielden) said so too. The liberal Members of that House denied it; but who was to decide the point? Sir J. Scarlett, now Lord Abinger, when the bill was before the House, said it was a tyranny that he feared the people of England would never submit to. It was called by other lawyers in the House, a coercion bill, a despotic bill, and that it conferred powers greater than were possessed by either House of Parliament. Indeed, it was admitted by almost all parties in the House, to be unconstitutional, and the exercise of these extraordinary powers was limited to a period of five years. There was, indeed, one Gentleman in the House, Mr. F. Lewis, who said, that the powers given by this bill were not unconstitutional, and 666 he was made a commissioner. He was not so then, but, as if the office were hereditary, his son had succeeded him. Lord Wynford and Lord Lyndhurst, high authorities on the point, had stated the central board to be unconstitutional, and the latter had declared the Poor-law Amendment Act to be only an experiment which never could be carried out. The liberal Member for Sheffield (Mr. Ward) had told the House that the law worked well at Sheffield. Before the hon. Member made that declaration, he had received a letter from a gentleman of Sheffield, stating that a petition from that town, containing upwards of 7,000 signatures, against the continuance of the new Poor-law, had been sent to the hon. Member for North Wilts (Sir F. Burdett), for him to present to the House; and requesting him (Mr. Fielden) to support the prayer of it when presented. He had never been able to ascertain that the act worked in a manner that was satisfactory to the ratepayers and the poor in any Union whatever. He hail proved the reverse to be the fact in those Unions inquired into by the Poor-law committee on which he had sat, and he believed there was not a Union to be found, to which the peremptory order of the Poor-law commissioners to deny out-door relief to the able-bodied, had been sent and acted upon, from which undeniable and overwhelming evidence might not be produced, to prove the truth of this fact, if a fair inquiry were instituted by the House. It must, therefore, be an act not entitled to respect. Lord Althorp, now Lord Spencer, and Mr. Cobbett, both stated that the administration of the Poor-law was not complained of as a grievance for a long period of years; and, that being the fact, he (Mr. Fielden) would be glad if the noble Lord, the Secretary for the colonies, or any other supporter of the act, would answer the questions put by Mr. Cobbett, and show, if they could, that the abusive administration of relief to the poor was not caused by taxes, corn laws, and alterations in the currency. The remedy that the Poor-law Amendment Act was passed to provide, was not, therefore, the right one. The act had inflicted grievous wrongs on the industrious poor. It had reduced their wages—it had raised rents, and the price of food had advanced under its operation. It had completely failed to produce the two important specific effects which the commissioners of 667 inquiry, in their report, said would follow the application of the principle of administering relief to the indigent, which they laid down in the case of able-bodied paupers; that was to say, first a rise of wages, and, secondly, "increased content of the labourers, and diminution of crime." What was that principle? He found it in that book which, in another place, was called, the "Record of Idleness and her Sister, Guilt," but which he (Mr. Fielden) would say, was the record of the most slanderous expressions of the character of the poor of England that, up to that period, he believed, had ever been published by authority. The principle was thus stated:—That the condition of the paupers shall be in no case so eligible as the condition of persons of the lowest class subsisting on the fruits of their industry.Before this had been put forth by commissioners appointed by the King, it would have been wise to have inquired what was the condition of the numerous classes of his Majesty's subjects who were pining in want, although subsisting on the fruits of their industry. It would have been well to have ascertained how many hand-loom weavers there were scattered over his Majesty's dominions, who could not earn 1½d. per head per day, for the maintenance of themselves, and. those dependent on them for support, but who, notwithstanding, were not receiving parochial aid. It would have beep well to ascertain how many labourers on the land, and at various other occupations in the country, were nearly similarly circumstanced in this respect with the hand-loom weavers, but without parish aid, and daily dying of want, before his Majesty's advisers had allowed such a principle to be promulgated by authority. Responsibility must rest somewhere, and if the new Poor-law be persevered in, the question of "who is responsible?" may be mooted, and the responsible parties may be called to an account for having given this advice. The principle had been acted on by the central board, but it had not afforded the advantages promised to the able-bodied by its adoption. No; they had been placed in a worse condition by the attempt to carry out this principle of administering relief. And here he must observe upon the cruelly of refusing relief to the able-bodied labourer, when his earnings were altogether inadequate to maintain 668 him. The peremptory order is directed against the able-bodied—those on whom you call to fight your battles—those you require to cultivate your lands—those you require to do what none but the able-bodied can do—and yet, when his labour fails him, when his wages are altogether insufficient for his maintenance, you deny him relief, except in your prison workhouse, and, in many cases, he has been denied this, if he had work at any wages whatever. He felt disgusted with the treatment of the able-bodied labourer by the guardians acting under the commissioners. He knew none in society more deserving of sympathy than the virtuous able-bodied man, with a family to support, but whose wages, notwithstanding he endeavoured to acquire the best he could obtain honestly, were altogether inadequate for the support of himself and those dependent on him. The proposition to throw the able-bodied "on their resources," when one-half of their earnings were taken from them by taxes on their bread and every other article they consumed, was both ungenerous and unjust. But he (Mr. Fielden) had said, that the adoption of this principle of relief had failed to raise wages, and to produce increased content of the labourers, and diminution of crime. Look at the calendars, and to the charges of the judges of assize, who were almost everywhere deploring the increase of crime, and suggesting education to prevent it. It was food that the people wanted, and without that, education would not avail; and as to reduction of wages instead of a rise, he (Mr. Fielden) had proved that before a committee of that House. Many hon. Members had stated the same facts; and if the noble Lord doubted it, let him appoint a fair committee to inquire. The new Poor-law was a failure, and ought to be repealed, and one more consonant with humanity and the rights of the poor enacted in its stead. The 43rd of Elizabeth was that, and, therefore, if he were asked for a substitute, he would say, let us resort to the 43rd of Elizabeth. The noble Lord and the House might rest assured that the people of England would never be reconciled to the Poor-law Amendment Act, nor to the central board, and the self-acting workhouse test. The noble Lord would do well to look to the petitions against these measures, which had been presented in the short period of 669 six weeks that this bill had been known. Let him look whence they came. Those petitions, up to Friday week last numbered 526, with 138,527 signatures; while on the other hand, there were, in the same time, only ten petitions with seventy-four signatures in favour of the bill. If the noble Lord doubted the influence of those petitioners over that Rouge, let him look to the sixty-seven notices of amendments to his bill, proposed by different Members of that House. One, he saw, was to have one large find populous Union (Bolton) exempted from the Poor-law Amendment Act; another was to exempt all towns of 10,000 inhabitants from its operation, That was proposed by the noble Lord, the Member for Liverpool. The noble Lord had consented to parishes having local acts being exempted from his bill, and that showed that the constituencies of those parishes were too powerful for the noble Lord to bring under the operation of the Poor law Amendment Act, and the bill to amend it now before the House. If the noble Lord would provide in his bill that those unions which might wish to be exempted from interference by the Poor-law Commissioners might be so, he had but little doubt that their continuance would be unnecessary. He, therefore, implored the noble Lord and the House to pause, because of the danger he apprehended from continuing the Poor-law Amendment Act on the Statute-book any longer, and from continuing to attempt further to carry out its provisions. He would now beg to move, that it be an instruction to the committee to introduce a clause into the bill to repeal the Poor-law Amendment Act.
§ General Johnson
seconded the motion. He had no wish to recur to the old law, but he disapproved of the unconstitutional power with which the commissioners were invested. They had used coercion instead of conciliation. He objected to making poverty a crime, which was the case under the present law. He thought the bastardy clauses were provisions for seduction, and those clauses, at all events ought to be repealed. With respect to the powers given to the Poor-law Commissioners, he thought it was impossible that, the Commissioners could issue an order to meet all cases. In a manufacturing district, if a mill stopped, 500 people might be thrown upon the parish, for it was impossible that those who were subsisting upon a mere 670 pittance could save anything for the day of adversity. There ought to be a power given to parties who were acquainted with the local circumstances, to afford such relief as they thought proper. But objecting to the Poor-law Act as he did altogether, he should support the motion of his hon. Friend.
§ The House divided on the question, that the proposed instruction be given:—Ayes 9; Noes 155:—Majority 146.
|List of the AYES.|
|Attwood, W.||Sibthorp, Colonel|
|Brotherton, J.||Smyth, Sir G. H.|
|Etwall, R.||Wakley, T.|
|Muntz, G. F.||Fielden, J.|
|Parker, R. T.||Johnson, General|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Egerton, W. T.|
|A 'Court, Captain||Elliot, hon. J, E.|
|Aglionby. H. A.||Estcourt, T.|
|Alston, R.||Ewart, W.|
|Bailey, J.||Fazakerley, J.|
|Baines, E.||Feilden, W.|
|Baker, K.||Fellowes, E.|
|Baldwin, C. B.||Fitzalan, Lord|
|Baring, hon. W. B.||Fleming, J.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Forester, hon. G.|
|Barrington, Viscount||Gaskell, J. Milnes|
|Basset, J.||Gladstone, W. E.|
|Bellew, R. M.||Gladstone, J. N.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Gordon, R.|
|Bernal, R.||Goulburn, rt. hon. H.|
|Bewes, T,||Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.|
|Bodkin, J. J.||Grosvenor, Lord R.|
|Botfield, B.||Grote, G|
|Bowes, J.||Halford, H.|
|Brabazon, Lord||Hamilton, Lord C.|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Harcourt, G. G.|
|Brownrigg, S.||Hawes, B.|
|Buck, L. W.||Hawkins, J. H.|
|Burr, H.||Hector, C, J.|
|Burroughes, H.N.||Heneage, E.|
|Busfeild, W.||Herries, rt. hn. J. C.|
|Canning, rt. hn. Sir S||Hobhouse, T. B.|
|Cartwright, W. R.||Hodges, T. L.|
|Cavendish, hon. C.||Hogg, J. W.|
|Cavendish, hn. G. H||Holmes, hon. W. A. C|
|Chichester, Sir B.||Horsman, E.|
|Clay, W.||Hotham, Lord|
|Clerk, Sir G.||Houldsworth, T.|
|Clive, E. B.||Howard, P. H.|
|Collier, J.||Howard, hn. C. W. G.|
|Colquhoun, J. C.||Howick, Viscount|
|Corry, hon. H.||Humphery, J.|
|Cowper, hon. W F.||Hutt, W.|
|Craig, W. G.||Inglis, Sir R. H.|
|Dalmeny, Lord||James, W.|
|Dalrymple, Sir A.||Jermyn, Earl|
|Darby, G.||Kemble, H.|
|Douglas, Sir C E.||Knight, H. G.|
|Du Pre, G.||Langdale, hon. C.|
|Lascelles, hon. W. S.||Seymour, Lord|
|Lennox, Lord A.||Shaw, rt. hon. F.|
|Lushington, C.||Smith, J. A.|
|Lushington, rt. hn. S.||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Macaulay, rt. hn. T.B.||Stanley, Lord|
|Martin, J.||Staunton, Sir G. T.|
|Mildmay, P. St. J.||Stewart, J.|
|Milnes, R. M.||Strickland, Sir G.|
|Molesworth, Sir W.||Strutt, E|
|Morgan, O.||Style, Sir C.|
|Morris, D.||Surrey, Earl of|
|Muskett, G. A.||Tomline, G.|
|Noel, hon. C. G.||Trevor, hon. G. R.|
|Paget, F.||Trotter, J.|
|Palmer, G.||Troubridge, Sir E. T.|
|Parker, J.||Tufnell, H.|
|Patten, J. W.||Turner, E.|
|Pechell, Captain||Tyrell, Sir J. T.|
|Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.||Villiers, hon. C. P.|
|Pigot, right hon. D.||Vivian, J. H.|
|Plumptre, J. P.||Vivian, rt. hn. Sir R. H.|
|Pryme, G.||Waddington, H. S.|
|Pusey, P.||Wall, C. B.|
|Rawdon, Col. J. D.||Warburton, H.|
|Rice, hon. E. R.||Wilde, Sir T.|
|Richards, R.||Winnington. Sir T. E,|
|Roche, W.||Wood, C.|
|Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.||Wood, G. W.|
|Round, C. G.||Wood, B.|
|Rumbold, C. E.||Worsley, Lord|
|Rushbrooke, Colonel||Wynn, rt. hn. C. W.|
|Russell, Lord J.||Yates, J. A.|
|Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A.||TELLERS.|
|Sandon, Viscount||Maule, hon. F.|
|Sanford, E. A.||Stanley, E. J.|
§ On the question, that the Speaker do leave the Chair,
§ Mr. Wakley
begged leave to call the noble Lord's attention to those provisions of the bill which related to medical assistance for the poor. It was his opinion that, in the absence of a learned Serjeant, who took much interest in that subject, they ought not to be proceeded with, at the same time, that he did not think they ought to be put off to a late hour, or to a time when the House was thin.
§ Lord J. Russell
concurred with the hon. Member as to the importance of the subject, and as to the expediency of its being discussed when the House was full, and when the hon. and learned Gentleman to whom allusion had been made was present. These considerations, however, did not appear to him to offer any sufficient reasons for not then proceeding with the bill in the regular way.
§ Mr. Wakley
said, he hoped that when a convenient time should arrive for discussing and amending that part of the bill no objection of a merely technical nature would be put forward.
§ House in Committe.
§ On the question that clause 6 be agreed to,
Mr. W. Attwood
, in the absence of the hon. Member for Carmarthen, said he wished to move an alteration to the clause of which that hon. Member had given notice, in these words—"Clause 6, after the words any 'general rule,' to insert the words, 'except rules, orders, and regulations relating to the relief or maintenance of the poor."
said, it would be now too late to propose such an amendment, for they had gone beyond line 25.
§ Lord J. Russell
said, in order to meet the difficulty he would propose the addition of the following proviso:—Provided always that before any rule is issued as a particular rule in cases where a general rule has been established, a list of unions and parishes, signed by two of the commissioners and countersigned by the Secretary of State, to which such general rule may be applied, shall be entered on the books of the minutes of the Poor Law Commissioners.It would then be laid before Parliament as a matter of course.
§ Mr. Townley Parker
said, that he wished to move a proviso to the clause, but, in order to do so, it would be necessary for him, in the first instance, to move the discussion of certain words in the clause. His opinion was, that sufficient publicity was not given in the various unions to the orders and regulations of the Poor-law Commissioners. There were many unions in which the rules and regulations at the Poor-law Commissioners did not meet the public eye, and were unknown even to the board of guardians, but were shut up in the drawers of the clerks of the union. It was his intention to move this addition to the clause—Provided always, and be it enacted, that the Commissioners shall be required to publish every order, rule, or regulation, which the said Commissioners shall issue after the passing of this Act, before the same shall come into operation in any union at least twice in the pub-He newspapers circulated within the locality of the said union.That would be a wholesome regulation, 673 if adopted; and therefore in order that that proviso might be added, he begged to move the ommission of certain words in the clause.
§ Lord J. Russell
thought it would not be advisable that the rules should be published in the newspapers. It would be very inconvenient to do so, and would be very expensive.
§ Colonel Sibthorp
was surprised that the noble Lord should object on the ground of expense. He regretted to say that there was a great deal of expense uselessly inflicted on the country—the salaries of the noble Lord and hon. Gentlemen opposite, for instance. He thought it would be satisfactory that publicity should be given to the orders of the Commissioners, and he knew of no better channel through which it could be made than the county newspaper.
§ Mr. Fox Maule
thought the clause was one entirely of a humane nature. Suppose it should be desirable to relax a stringent rule by leaving out the words now proposed to be left out, they would be deprived of all power of relaxing the rule, and, if the advertisement in the county papers were insisted on, such relaxation could not take place for fourteen days.
§ Amendment withdrawn.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ On clause 8, providing that the sending of the commissioners' rules, &c, need not be proved in civil or criminal cases, unless notice was given that such proof would be required, being read,
§ Lord G. Somerset moved to leave out the words "or criminal," in order to prevent the enactment of the clause applying to criminal cases.
defended the clause. A party had only to require proof of the sending of the rules, and then the onus probandi fell upon the commissioners.
§ The Committee divided on the question that the words "or criminal" stand part of the clause; Ayes 77; Noes 58; Majority 19.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Bodkin, J. J.|
|Ainsworth, P.||Briscoe, J. I.|
|Baring, rt. hon. F. T||Brodie, W. B.|
|Baring hon. W. B.||Busfeild, W.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Campbell, Sir J.|
|Bassett, J.||Cavendish, hn. G. H.|
|Bewes, T.||Chichester, Sir B.|
|Clay, W.||Pigot, rt. hon. D.|
|Coote, Sir C. H.||Plumptre, J. P.|
|Courtenay, P.||Protheroe, E.|
|Davies, Colonel||Pryme, G.|
|Easthope, J.||Pusey, P.|
|Evans, W.||Rice, E. R.|
|Fazakerley, J. N.||Rickford, W.|
|Fitzalan, Lord||Round, C.G.|
|Grey, rt. hn. Sir C.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Grey, rt. hn. Sir G.||Rutherford, rt. hn. A.|
|Grote, G.||Salwey, Colonel|
|Hawes, B.||Shaw, rt. hon. F,|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Staunton, Sir G. T.|
|Hobhouse, T. B.||Strickland, Sir G.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Strutt, E.|
|Howard, P. H.||Style, Sir C.|
|Howick, Viscount||Tancred, H. W.|
|Humphery, J.||Thornley, T.|
|James, W.||Troubridge, Sir E. T|
|Langdale, hon. C.||Turner, E.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Loch, J.||Villiers, hon. C. P.|
|Lushington, rt. hn. S.||Vivian, rt. hn. Sir R. H.|
|Mildmay, P. St. J.||Wakley, T.|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Warburton, H.|
|Morris, D.||Wilde, Sir T.|
|Muntz, G. F.||Wood, C.|
|O,Brien. W. S.||Wood, G. W.|
|O'Ferrall, R. M.||Wood, B.|
|Paget, Lord A.||Yates, J. A.|
|Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H.||Maule, hon. F.|
|Philips, G. R.||Parker, R.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Hotham, Lord|
|Attwood, W.||Irton, S.|
|Bailey, J.||Johnson, General|
|Baillie, Colonel||Kemble, H.|
|Bolling, W.||Maunsell, T. P.|
|Brownrigg, S.||Mordaunt, Sir J.|
|Bruges, W. H. L.||Morgan, O.|
|Buck, L. W.||Palmer, G.|
|Burroughes, H. N.||Pechell, Captain|
|Chute, W. L, W.||Round, J.|
|Collins, W.||Rushbrooke, Cole|
|Compton, H, C.||Sibthorp, Colonel|
|Crewe, Sir G.||Smyth, Sir G. H.|
|Dalrymple, Sir A.||Somerset, Lord G|
|Darby, G.||Teignmouth, Loin|
|Duncombe, T.||Trevor, hon. G. R.|
|Egerton, W. T.||Trotter, J.|
|Fielden, J.||Turner, W.|
|Fellowes, E.||Tyrell, Sir J. T.|
|Fitzroy, hon. H.||Vere, Sir C. B.|
|Fleetwood, Sir P. H.||Vivian, J. E.|
|Fleming, J.||Walker, R.|
|Freshfield, J. W.||Williams, W.|
|Gaskell, J. M.||Wilmot, Sir J. E.|
|Glynne, Sir S. R.||Wodehouse, E.|
|Goring, H. D.||Wood, Colonel|
|Grant, Sir A. C.||Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.|
|Hector, C. J.||TELLERS.|
|Heneage, G. W.||Grimsditch, T.|
|Hollond, R.||Parker, R.|
§ On the clause being again put,
§ Lord G. Somerset
said the words of the latter part of the clause (the effect of which is to make defendants in criminal or civil actions, arising from neglect or infringement of the rules of the commissioners, pay the expenses of witnesses to prove that such rules of the commissioners were sent, if they required such proof, and it was made out to the satisfaction of the court) might act with great hardship, as, though the rules might be proved to be sent, the defendants might never have received or seen them, and the fear of incurring the expense of the witnesses would operate effectually in preventing them requiring this proof. He would not, however, divide the Committee on this point.
§ The Committee divided upon the question that the words be added; Ayes 64; Noes 88: Majority 24.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acland, T. D.||Hector, C. J.|
|Antrobus, E.||Hodgson, F.|
|Baldwin, C. B.||Hollond, R.|
|Bradshaw, J.||Hotham, Lord|
|Broadley, H.||Irton, S.|
|Broadwood, H.||Johnson, General|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Kemble, H.|
|Brownrigg, S.||Maunsell, T. P.|
|Bruges, W. H. L.||Mordaunt, Sir J.|
|Buck, L. W.||Morgan, O.|
|Burroughes, H. N||Owen, Sir J.|
|Cholmondeley, hn. H.||Palmer, G.|
|Chute, W. L. W.||Parker, R. T.|
|Collins, W.||Round, J.|
|Compton, H. C.||Rushbrooke, Colonel|
|Courtenay, P.||Sibthorp, Colonel|
|Crewe, Sir G.||Smith, A.|
|Dalrymple, Sir A.||Smyth, Sir G. H.|
|Douro, Marquess of||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Duncombe, T.||Spry, Sir S. T.|
|Duncombe, hon. W.||Teignmouth, Lord|
|Fielden, J.||Trevor, hon. G. R.|
|Fellowes, E.||Trotter, J.|
|Fitzroy, hon. H.||Tyrell, Sir J. T.|
|Fleming, J.||Vere, Sir C. B.|
|Follett, Sir W.||Vivian, J. E.|
|Freshfield, J. W.||Williams, W.|
|Gaskell, J. M.||Wodehouse, E.|
|Glynne, Sir S. R.||Wood, Colonel|
|Goring, H. D.||Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.|
|Goulburn, rt. hon. H.|
|Grant, Sir A. C.||TELLERS.|
|Grimsditch, T,||Jones, J.|
|Halford, H.||Attwood, W.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Aglionby. H. A.||Bannerman, A.|
|Ainsworth, P.||Baring, rt. hon. F. T.|
|Baring, hon. W. B.||Paget, Lord A.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Parnell rt. hn. Sir H.|
|Bodkin, J. J.||Pechell, Captain|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Philips, G. R.|
|Brodie, W. B.||Pigot, rt. hon. D.|
|Brotherto J.||Plumptre, J. P.|
|Buller, E.||Pusey, P.|
|Busfeild, W.||Rice, E. R.|
|Campbell, Sir J.||Rickford, W.|
|Cavendish, hn. G. H.||Round, C. G.|
|Chichester, Sir B.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Clay, W.||Rutherford, rt. hn. A.|
|Crawford, W.||Salwey, Colonel|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Scrope, G. P.|
|Davies, Colonel||Seymour, Lord|
|Divett, E.||Shaw, rt. hon. F.|
|Easthope, J.||Smith, R. V.|
|Evans, G.||Staunton, Sir G. T.|
|Evans, W.||Strickland, Sir G.|
|Fazakerley, J. N.||Strutt, E.|
|Fitzalan, Lord||Style. Sir C.|
|Gordon, R.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Thornley, T.|
|Grote, G.||Troubridge, Sir E. T|
|Hawes, B.||Turner, W.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Hill, Lord A. M. C.||Villiers, hon. C. P.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Vivian, rt. hn. Sir. R. H.|
|Horsman, E.||Wakley, T.|
|Howard, hn. E. G. G.||Walker, R.|
|Howard, P. H.||Wall, C. B.|
|Hutton, R.||Warburton, H.|
|James, W.||Wilshere, W.|
|Labouchere, rt. hn. H.||Wood, C.|
|Langdale, hon. C.||Wood, G. W.|
|Lascelles, hn. W. S.||Wood, Colonel T.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Wood, B.|
|Loch, J.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Lushington, rt. hn. S.||Yates, J. A.|
|Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.||Young, J.|
|O'Brien, W. S.||Maule, hon. F.|
|O'Ferrall, R. M.||Parker, J.|
§ Clause 8 agreed to.
§ Clause 9 was postponed.
§ On clause 10, relating to the management of insane and infant poor,
§ Colonel Wood moved an amendment, to except counties in which lunatic asylums were established for the reception of pauper lunatics. His object was to induce counties to unite together for the erection of receptacles for the insane poor, so as to separate them from the infant poor. He would, however, except those which had already expended large sums of money in the erection of lunatic asylums.
§ Mr. Williams Wynn
was opposed to the keeping of lunatic paupers in parochial workhouses. He thought that part of the clause respecting the treatment of pauper lunatics should be expunged, and that so important a subject should be intro- 677 duced in a separate bill. If the noble Lord would agree to do so, he might rely upon all the assistance which an experience of thirty-two years enabled him to give. He preferred county lunatic asylums, as being more economical than parish receptacles, and also as more likely to afford scientific treatment to the inmates than they would be likely to receive, if exclusively under the management of the boards of guardians, who, even in the medical department, had got into the habit of giving their patients to the doctor who sent in the cheapest tender. The boards of management for county lunatics ought to be distinct from those of the schools for children, and the other departments of the workhouses. He thought the boards for each county might be best chosen from the magistrates at quarter sessions. There ought to be a clause introduced, which should compel small counties to unite for the purpose of erecting common lunatic asylums, and then the boards of magistrates for these might be selected from the magistrates of the constituent counties. He trusted he had said enough to induce the noble Lord to withdraw that part of the clause, and reserve it as a subject of a separate bill.
§ Lord J. Russell
consented to the amendment. The present clause had been framed in order to remedy the great evil which previously existed, of allowing paupers, whose condition required their separation from the others, to remain in the workhouses. He had no objection, if a better plan could be suggested, to fall in with it.
§ Lord Ashley
(in supporting the amendment) said, that this was a part of the subject well deserving the attention of the House. He could speak from experience, having been chairman of the board, to the beneficial effects resulting from the operation of the 3d and 4th William 4th. He hoped that the noble Lord would see the propriety of framing a substantive motion on the subject of lunatics in general.
§ Lord G. Somerset
hoped that the noble Lord, in considering the condition of the insane poor, would not omit the consideration of the case of criminal lunatics.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. B. Wood
then moved as an amendment, that after the word "fit," in the fourth line, should be inserted the words "with the consent of the majority of the 678 board of guardians of such union." At present, as the clause stood, the commissioners could, compulsorily, unite several unions under one board of management, for the purpose of building or hiring one common school for the education of paupers' children; but he thought as the hoards of guardians had the control of the rates, that they ought to be charged with the responsibility of forming these boards of management, at least to the extent that their consent should be previously obtained; and he saw but little fear that she majority of a board of guardians would withhold their assent to a measure having so beneficial an object as the proper education of these pauper children.
§ Lord J. Russell
objected to the amendment, because it gave to the boards of guardians an initiative; and he feared, had they, in the first instance, required the assent, of the vestries to the formation of unions, instead of leaving that to the commissioners, very few unions would have been formed at all under this bill, although, after the unions had been formed, the vestries, generally speaking, showed great zeal in carrying into effect the provisions of the bill. The hon. Gentleman, he thought, had lost sight, too, of the latter part of the clause, which provided that no funds should be raised for the purpose of carrying out this object, without a majority of four-fifths of the boards of guardians of the respective unions or parishes thus united, and which would give to the guardians all the control that the hon. Member desired. As to the expense, it was considered that the proposed plan would be more economical, and probably the House, in its annual grant for legislation, might not consider it unfitting to devote a portion of such grant in aid of this object.
§ Mr. Hodges
objected to the clause in consequence of the expense to which it would give rise, and because he conceived that under the present system, pauper children were already supplied with the means of instruction. He would support the amendment.
§ Mr. Grote
regretted exceedingly that it was not the case, as the hon. Member stated that pauper children were already provided with instruction. No adequate provision had been made by boards of guardians for the proper training and education of children, as was proved by the 679 evidence before the House, and by Dr. Key's report. Nor could they be properly educated in these workhouses. There were from 35,000 to 45,000 children distributed throughout the different union and parish workhouses—twenty, perhaps, in one house, thirty in another, and so on. How could adequate arrangements be made for teaching them in such small detachments? How much better for several parishes or unions to combine together their 200 or 300 children in one school, away from the contaminating example of the workhouse, and where they could be properly trained, not to mere book-learning, but to the formation of those industrial habits which could alone make them useful members of society. He found the strongest confirmation of this view in the results of Mr. Aubyn's institution at Norwood, where the pauper children of the metropolis were educated. He trusted the House would not be induced to modify this clause, so as to deprive it of the beneficial effects which there was no doubt would result from it in its present shape. Though the commissioners were allowed to create boards of management, without the consent of the boards of guardians, yet those boards of management could not go to any expense for the purposes of this clause, without the consent of four-fifths of the boards of guardians of the various unions. He therefore would oppose the amendment of his hon. Friend, conceiving that the clause, as it stood, gave as much power to the guardians as they ought to have.
§ Mr. Goulburn
doubted much the propriety of generally adopting, in the unions throughout the country, that system which the hon. Member for London seemed to think worked so efficiently at Norwood. Upon the success of that system the hon. Member grounded his support of this clause; but it did not follow that what was good for the metropolis must be also good for the agricultural districts. His experience of the Poor-law was derived from its operation in the country unions, and his conviction was, that the system proposed by this clause, would not produce those beneficial effects which the framers of it had in view. According to the definition laid down in the bill of the infant poor, every person under the age of sixteen, might, at the option of the commissioners, be transferred to this school. It was not likely that the commissioners 680 would extend this clause to the whole of that class of persons, but apply it only to a limited number. The result of that would be, that the reduced number remaining in the workhouse, would, in order to afford a better education to the selected portion, be left without any, or, at least, a still worse education than they had at present, it being asserted, that in proportion as the number of pauper children was diminished, so was the efficiency of the instruction. He owned that he felt considerable objection to the compulsory removal of the children of a particular union, to a great distance from that union. He felt that they were thereby removed from all those connexions of locality, relationship, and friendship, which he maintained it was essential and highly beneficial to keep up. They might educate and improve the minds of those children, but of how little benefit would that be to them, if when turned abroad upon society, they had lost all those connexions. He might be told that the system would be applied only, or principally, to illegitimate children. But if hon. Gentlemen supposed, that in such cases there existed no parental attachments, or no such connexions as those to which he had just alluded they were grievously mistaken. As regarded orphans, the same objection might be raised, as they frequently had brothers and sisters, friends, and in all instances neighbours, whose kindly feelings towards them it was desirable to promote, instead of destroying them by a total separation. The religious instruction of the pauper children was at present more adequately afforded than it was likely to be under the proposed system. Where there was no chaplain to the workhouse it was visited by the clergyman of the parish to which the union belonged, who imparted religious instruction to its inmates. By this clause, however, it was proposed to send the children away, and completely separate them from those who were their natural instructors. For these reasons he felt strong objections to the proposed arrangement.
§ Mr. Hawes
said, the fact stared them in the face, that thousands and thousands of pauper children were wholly without proper educational instruction. [No, no!] He said yes, for in the workhouse at present it was impossible there could exist the classification, the necessary attention to the proper training of those children in com- 681 bination with the other arrangements of those houses. As to the objection respecting the compulsory removal of children, he must remind hon. Members, that many parishes in London had already, by their special acts, the power of establishing schools at a distance, and they generally placed the infant poor at a distance from town, in a house appropriated to them, Was it not, moreover, the fact, that hon. Members sent away their own children? He did not see wherein consisted the difference between central schools for pauper children of distant parishes, and great public schools, to which the children of wealthy parents were sent from still greater distances. In point of expense, the proposed system would be more economical as well as more efficient than the present system; and so far from the right hon. Gentleman opposite having anything to dread on the score of the subsequent employment of such children, it was a fact, that Mr. Aubin had more applications for the services of the children instructed at Norwood than he could supply, Now, what a remarkable contrast did this present to the state of things under the old system, when pauper children were never taken into employment but with the greatest reluctance! As to the spiritual instruction which an hon. Member had said was given to the paupers by the clergy of the Established Church, it was pretty generally known that the clergy should be paid well for everything they did. The separation of the children from the parents had been much dwelt on, but were not the higher classes of society in the habit of separating themselves from their children, in order to have them well instructed? And what was the difference of the system proposed by the bill? In the largest establishments an excellent education would be given the children. He would instance the good effects that had been produced by the establishment at Norwood. That establishment, which from the first had been a superior one, was daily improving; and as the advantages of its system were becoming more generally known, the children educated therein got a preference from masters and others in want of servants. The education that was given in that institution was not inferior in many respects to that given in many of the public schools where the higher classes sent their children.
§ Colonel Wood
said, that the hon. Gen- 682 tleman who had just sat down asked what difference there would be between the schools now proposed to be established for pauper children and the public schools of this country. He would beg to observe, that there was this very great distinction between the two cases: that the youths at public schools had parents to whom they went for the holidays, and who took care on those occasions to look to their moral feelings, and to encourage their natural affections. Though the hon. Member seemed to sneer at public schools, he could only say that he did not know any course of education, or any association, more likely to promote a man's views and interests, in any profession or calling in life, than that to be obtained at any one of our public schools. The hon. Gentleman had complained of the miserable treatment of pauper children in workhouses, and that there was no provision made for their education. If the fact were so, he could only say, that it was the fault of the commissioners not to have made the necessary provision for that purpose, as there had not been a workhouse built since the establishment of that body, the plan of which had not been previously submitted to the commissioners for their approval. He agreed with his right hon. Friend, that in many instances the congregating together of large masses of children, drawn from surrounding agricultural unions at a great distance from one another, would be a matter of great detriment to themselves, by breaking up all those ties which they might be supposed to have, and which must be of more or less importance to them.
§ Sir C. Lemon
supported the clause. He felt confident that, under proper management, the union establishments would serve as model schools, and tend very much to raise the character of the parochial seminaries throughout the country. In the union, of which he was chairman, he had seen a partial application of the principle, and the result of his experience was, that it was highly advantageous to the poor.
thought the committee were discussing somewhat prematurely the technical arrangement of this clause, notice having been given of various other amendments, the determination of which must very much affect the judgment ultimately to he pronounced upon it, He 683 begged to call the attention of hon. Gentlemen to the very great alterations which had been made in the clause since it had first been proposed to Parliament. At first it was proposed to unite certain unions into districts, for the purpose of managing "infirm, insane, and infant poor." There was hardly a class of persons who might not be comprised under these denominations, and who were to be carried a great distance from home to some overgrown establishment, composed of unions much too extensive already. But what had been struck out? According to the explanation of noble Lord, the "infirm" were not the aged poor, but only those who had some permanent bodily infirmity; and that class had already been disposed of. The word "infirm" had been struck out. Then "insane" had also been struck out; and they were now discussing, whether, under certain limitations, hereafter to be fixed, there should be district establishments for the management of the "infant" poor. That was not all. His noble Friend (Lord G. Somerset) had given notice of an amendment, which would materially limit even the class of infant poor to be provided for under this clause. The provision proposed under this clause had been compared with the system at public schools. One broad and most material difference had been pointed out by his hon. Friend (Colonel Wood), namely, that the former had a tendency to break through family ties and affections, while the latter afforded the means of maintaining and cherishing them. But there was another distinction, which had not been adverted to—the one was a voluntary process, the other was compulsory. The rich man might send his child to a public school, and bring him back when he pleased; but here the Legislature was taking charge of the poor man's family, giving a superior education he admitted, but still controlling his natural affections, obliging him to surrender or burst asunder those natural ties he wished to maintain unbroken. Now, his noble Friend (Lord G. Somerset) proposed to limit the clause to cases of orphans, illegitimate children, deserted children, and children whose parents or guardians consented to their removal; and subject to such limitations, the clause would be comparatively unobjectionable. It might be that ninety-nine out of 100 parents would give their consent, in order to secure a 684 better education for their children, and he would not grudge it them; but he believed that even the advantage of a superior education would be counterbalanced by the disruption of social and domestic ties. He laid great stress on the obligation they would impose on virtuous parents, reduced by necessity alone to choose whether they would prefer for their children an inferior education in their own presence, or a superior education away from all natural ties. He believed that the education which they would receive in those combined district school-houses would be superior to that obtained in the separate workhouses. He admitted, moreover, though he had not the advantage of having seen it—that the school at Norwood was entitled to the credit which the statements made that night claimed for it: he was willing to believe that the persons educated there advanced in life more easily, that they were more readily taken as servants, trusted at an earlier age, and that the disadvantages of early life, or, he should rather say, of their birth, were counterbalanced by the moral, religious, and intellectual education which they obtained at that school. It naturally followed, that by inserting this amendment you bestowed the advantages of a similar education on those who were essentially and emphatically the children of the State—those who had no parents living, those whose parents abandoned them, those whose parents consented to their removal, and those whose parents had no legitimate claim to control their education. And here, he must say, he did not admit the claim of the mother of an illegitimate child to have her child not only maintained by the State, but educated under her superintendence. He felt all compassion and sorrow for a person in so unfortunate a situation; but he could not place her on the same footing with a virtuous mother, who was driven with her child to the workhouse through poverty and destitution, but who was not guilty of any offence which should subject her to degradation. Therefore, confined to the classes he had mentioned, he should rejoice to see establishments formed which would supply a superior education to a class of persons who stood in need of every extraneous aid which the State could supply. He would suggest to the hon. Gentleman who proposed that a 685 majority of each board of guardians should be necessary to the establishment of these schools, that he should permit the other motions relative to this clause to be first disposed of, and if he did not think a sufficient guarantee was thereby taken for securing his object, then to submit his proviso. He next adverted to the proposal of his hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock, that a clergyman of the Church of England should be attached to each of these schools. It was impossible not to remark the implied censure of the clergy of the Established Church by the hon. Member for Lambeth, who referred to their non-attendance at the workhouse schools; and the hon. Member must excuse him (Lord Stanley) if he reminded him that the school at Norwood was directly and avowedly under the control of a clergyman of the Church of England, and that the pupils were brought up under the discipline of the Church. He did not say—God forbid he should—that Dissenters should be ex eluded from an education based on their own tenets; but this he did say, that here they were about to provide for foundlings, orphans, abandoned and destitute children; they were about to make them the children of the State, and it followed as a natural and necessary consequence that those children should be placed under the superintendence of the Church of the State. With these limitations, first, as to the class of persons who should receive this education, and next, as to its being a religious one under the control of the Church, he should give his support to the clause, as affording a better education than could be received at the local schools, and as overcoming those; disadvantages which the unfortunate circumstances of birth and infancy had entailed.
§ Mr. B. Wood
said, that the board of commissioners were to have a power to appoint a board of management hi these districts. Conceiving his amendment to be a proper one it was his intention to press it to a division.
§ Lord John Russell
said, that his hon. Friend was right in thinking that sonic measures might be taken by the board of management without the authority of the board of guardians; but the board of management could not go far without incurring some new expense, and then the board of guardians would necessarily 686 have it in their power to object to anything that might be attempted of which they did nut approve. A great deal of discussion upon the general principles of the bill had taken place, and he was therefore compelled now to advert to them. For, whatever amendments of this clause he might be disposed to assent lo, for the sake of introducing any great improvement, he must state the general principles upon which the House should proceed to legislate. When paupers asked the assistance of the State, when their children were maintained by the State, he thought they had no right to refuse the State the power of giving their children a good and a religious education. What was the condition of pauper children generally when they entered the union workhouses? It appeared from the reports of the commissioners upon this subject, that in the Isle of Thanet union they were "dirty in their persons and habits, and given to lying, swearing, and theft, and were either utterly ignorant, or had been very imperfectly instructed." The same description was given of the children of other unions. If such then was the condition of the children when they came to the State for food and shelter, was it not fair to say that the Slate had a right to bring them up good subjects? Was it too much for the State to say, "We will endeavour to make them Christians?" But it would strike at the very foundation of this argument to affirm that the parents might object to the education proposed to be given, because then, the system of instruction would be controlled, not by the Stale, but by the parents. How were the children hitherto educated? They were brought up at the workhouse schools, where, according to the evidence of the Poor-law Commissioners, the school-masters were sometimes competent, but often wholly unlit for their duty. What he contended for then was, first, that finding the children without any education at all, the State had a right to teach them religion and moral duty; and, in the second place, that if they had received a very imperfect kind of education, the State was entitled to give them a better. He thought there could be no rational objection to that principle, because it was so manifestly the duty of the State to carry it into execution, and it was so beneficial to the children, as was proved 687 in the operations of the school at Norwood, enabling them in a few years to obtain good situations to their own advantage and that of the community generally. He did not think any of the objections which had been stated should stand in the way of such a system. That respecting the maintenance of the ties of relationship was a very plausible one; but in very many cases the society of the parents of pauper children and the example of the relatives were calculated only to lead them into the practice of vicious habits. Yet, with respect to the suggestion of the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, who would draw a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate pauper children, even if it met with more general support in the House than it apparently did, he could not consent to adopt it, because the effect would operate injuriously towards vast numbers of children, particularly in such counties as Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, and other agricultural districts. The hon. Member for Kilmar-nock had said that a clergyman must be attached to each school. It would certainly be advantageous to the establishment to have a clergyman so attached, but he could not help saying that with regard to what had already been done—namely, the attaching of chaplains to workhouses, there was on the part of those who dissented from the Church of England a feeling of dissatisfaction that an additional burthen had been thrown upon them for the support of the established Church, and he must confess that there was a good deal of reason in the allegation that there ought not to be any additional weight imposed upon the people generally for the maintenance of the establishment. The enforcement of such a proposition would cause not only great discontent and opposition amongst Dissenters generally, but in those districts where the boards of guardians might be composed of Dissenters, or contain a majority of Dissenters it would be resisted.
§ Mr. Goulburn
thought the argument which the noble Lord used against the proposition of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock would be just as forcible applied to any religious teacher whatever. It would seem, then, that the noble Lord intended those schools to be places for secular instruction only.
§ Lord John Russell
explained. All he had said was, that the appointment of 688 chaplains to the schools would make the Dissenters feel the poor-rate an additional rate paid by them in support of the clergy of the establishment.
§ Mr. Goulburn
did not think the point had been sufficiently explained. What his hon. Friend had stated was, that in unions of limited extent it was practical for the clergyman of the neighbouring parish to attend at the workhouse for the purpose of superintending the education of the children; and he knew from experience in the union with which he was connected, that such a thing was practicable. But if the children were taken in large numbers out of extensive counties, such as Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire, and congregated in these central schools, no clergyman could be expected to take upon himself the heavy duty of superintending their religious education. The noble Lord, however, would leave their religious instruction to the chance interposition of any benevolent individual residing near the school.
said, the noble Lord had raised a doubt upon a point of which the commissioners had already disposed. Those gentlemen, and Dr. Kay with them, had officially reported that not only had they never heard of such a thing as opposition to chaplains for the schools, but they distinctly stated, that no complaint had been made against such an arrangement. In order to obviate any doubt, they had thus spoken—We recommend an enactment for the purpose of authorizing the commissioners to direct boards of guardians to appoint chaplains of the Church of England.Was it possible to conceive that the commissioners would have recommended such a course, if the Dissenters or the public felt it to be a grievance? Dr. Kay, in the report on the training of pauper children, said—The difficulties arising from differences of religious creeds are scarcely even incidentally found to operate, and the means adopted for affording the children religious instruction are fortunately obtaining universal acquiescence.But what were the means? Dr. Kay had himself reported, and the commissioners had enjoined them. Dr. Kay, speaking of that establishment which had been the subject of so much encomium 689 with the hon. Member for Lambeth, said—The object of primary importance is the appointment of a chaplain.A chaplain had already been attached to the school at Norwood; and not only were the hours particularly named when special religious instruction was to be given, but the commissioners enjoined upon the chaplain the duty of superintending the whole establishment, and of taking the religious training of the children entirety into his own hands. In the instructions to the chaplain were these emphatic words—The secular instruction and moral and industrious training of the children are designed to counteract their vicious tendencies, and such practical lessons will pervade that secular instruction and moral training as will aim at that object; but the sanctions of religion are to be at the foundation of their instruction, and the claims and duties of religion are to be carefully enforced.The commissioners also invited the chaplain to direct his attention to the children during the hours allotted to secular tuition, being anxious that he should have an opportunity of becoming acquainted with their moral habits, and their wants and susceptibilities. If, then, the example of Norwood was to be imitated, a pious and active chaplain of the Established Church must be placed over each central school. The hon. Member for Lambeth, who did not seem to have much respect for the clergy of the Church of England, had gone out of his way to break a lance with them; but a more feeble, broken, and rotten weapon had never been raised against that respectable body. Had the hon. Member read the report of Mr. Tuffnel, the assistant-commissioner? Mr. Tuffnel said:—The chaplain, in many cases, discharges the duties of a schoolmaster, gratuitously and most efficiently.Another assistant-commissioner had used language which it would have been well if the hon. Member for Lambeth had read before he ventured to attack the clergy:—Their valuable assistance in the schools I take pleasure to acknowledge, inasmuch as in some unions they have almost supplied the place of good masters, and in only two in- 690 stances has there been any opposition to them.Mi. Twisleton, another assistant-commissioner, expressed himself thus:—In the rural unions of this district, it fortunately happens that religious dissensions are almost unknown, and religious scruples have only, on very rare occasions, been the cause or the pretext for throwing impediments in the way of education. Hence the chaplains in the majority of the unions give their valuable assistance in the improvement of the schools; a fact which I take the greater pleasure in acknowledging, inasmuch as, in some unions, they have almost supplied the place of a good schoolmaster, and it has only been in two instances that the slightest opposition has been experienced from that quarter.If the noble Lord would insist upon tearing away the children from their parents, and breaking all their natural ties of affection, it would then be necessary to place them under the eye and the teaching of a minister of religion, whose pastoral superintendence should supply the lack of parental care; and if these schools were, hereafter, to be looked upon as models of education, for the sake of common sense, of common justice, and of common honesty, as long as a national establishment remained, let them not present the monstrous anomaly of hosts of children crowded together within their walls receiving secular instruction only, without the inculcation of any religious principles.
§ Mr. Slaney
said, there could be no doubt of the immense importance of the subject. These children were and would be often the offspring of guilt and crime; yet no fault attached to them, therefore, even if it was a question of expense, it was their duty to incur it. But he should be able to prove that by being liberal in their education, they would, in fact, be saving the money of the nation, for those poor infants who were in darkness, would be brought to light, and prevented from costing the country expense for their punishment as criminals. In unions, there were not enough of children to provide a good schoolmaster—the guardians would not go to the expense. Besides, in the union workhouse, there was an impossibility of giving them that industrial education which would make them such servants as masters and mistresses desired to have. In proof of the old system having 691 been a failure, in the unions of Norfolk and Suffolk, the cost of giving premiums along with these poor children was 40,000l., and the masters were of a low character and description, who, in place of taking them with the intention of taking care of them, their only object was to get quit of them as soon as possible in order to enjoy the premium. Even then, on the score of economy, they ought to adopt the new system, for the children had been so much improved in both morals and bodily health, that masters and mistresses were anxious now to take them at thirteen years of age without any premium. It was true that some change for the better had taken place, but the existing system of training was still very faulty, and it should be the earnest endeavour of the House to bring it to a sounder state.
§ Sir R. Peel
said, that though the amendment of the hon. Gentleman was one of a strictly practical nature, the course which the discussion had taken had brought before the House great principles which were involved in the consideration of the subject. As that course had been pursued, it might perhaps conduce to the general convenience of the House, and even tend to shorten the discussion, if it were not now to be departed from. From a very careful perusal of that most important and interesting document, the report on the training of pauper children, he had come to the conclusion, that where a large number of children were educated together securities were afforded for their good education; but at the same time he had the strongest impression, that provided you could, without any violation of those parental claims which the House was bound to respect in the poor as well as in the rich, congregate the children and treat them as the children of the State, you were hound to provide for their religious instruction in the principles of the Established Church. If these children belonged to the Stale, and if there were a religion professed by the State, could there be a doubt that the religious principles instilled into their minds ought to be in conformity with those of that form of religious belief supported by the State? Therefore, when his hon. Friend, the Member for Kilmarnock, proposed his amendment with relation to that subject, he should give it his cordial support, and that not only on general principles, but on the authority of the document to which he had referred. 692 The deductions he drew from general principles were confirmed by the experience and testimony of men whose evidence on this subject was of the greatest value. If it were doubted that the utmost advantage was derived at Norwood from the superintendence of the chaplain, he would refer to the evidence of Dr. Kay, at page 128, with respect to the conduct of the officers of that establishment. The right hon. Baronet read the following passage:—As far as the teachers and servants are concerned, this evil is now to a considerable extent remedied by the more constant superintendence which the chaplain (the rev. Joseph Brown), in addition to his other important duties, is enabled to bestow on the punctual attendance and persevering activity of the several officers, and on the maintenance of harmonious co-operation among them, since he has relinquished his superintendence of two other children's establishments, and confined his attention solely to that at Norwood. The chaplain's aid in the selection of servants and nurses, in a vigilant inspection of their moral conduct, and their deportment towards the children, has been of great importance to the establishment, has remedied several defects, and affords the boards of guardians one of the best safeguards against abuses.Could they, then, consent to leave to the casual attendance and inspection of clergymen in the neighbourhood, differing in their views, differing probably in their moral character, and differing necessarily in the extent of their occupation, the performance of those duties which were performed in the case of Norwood by a chaplain paid for his services, but, above all, responsible for the regular and constant discharge of his duty? If they had any doubt remaining on this subject, and wished to understand the practical working of the system followed at Norwood, let them consult the instructions issued by Mr. Chadwick and the evidence of Dr. Kay. They were told in that document he had already quoted, that to redeem vicious children, and bring them back to habits of industry and virtue was a most painful and revolting task (such were the expressions used), and that no one but a man deeply imbued with the spirit of Christian charity could reconcile himself to the performance of that duty, or follow it with success. He thought, therefore, if they regarded the children as those of the State, they must provide them with religious instruction. If that were to be given, could it be given on any principles 693 except those of the Protestant religion, adopted by the State? These were the general principles which he for one should contend must be applied to this question. His noble Friend near him had moved an amendment to the proposition of the noble Lord opposite. The noble Lord first proposed that all children receiving relief within the workhouse, and under the age of sixteen, should be subjected to the operation of this act. He thought there would be great practical difficulty in carrying into effect this regulation. If an industrious and honest labourer were admitted within the workhouse, and offered a decided objection to the separation of his children from him, he thought there would be very great difficulty in interfering to compel the separation of the children from their father, for the purpose of instructing them at a considerable distance, it might be, from the workhouse in which the parent was placed. It was not difficult to conceive instances in which the total separation of a child from virtuous parents might interfere with the obligations of filial duty. He therefore thought the noble Lord would act wisely in admitting the principle of the admendment of his noble Friend. But independently of that, he did not see how such a regulation could be put in practice. He would suppose a case, very likely to occur—that of the suspension of labour in consequence of a severe frost, by which a great number of persons would be thrown out of employment. Out-door relief would be denied them, entrance into the workhouse being considered the only test of destitution. The suspension of labour might prove to be but of short duration, and the labourer might be able to return to his work in a fortnight. Clearly, in conformity with the principles of their plan of relief, they must be anxious that the labourer should return to his occupation by the earliest possible day. Now, what would they do with the children of such a man in the mean time? Take the case of a man with a wife and six children. Such a person would be compelled to come with his family into the workhouse. In such circumstances it might appear wiser, looking at the case by itself, to give oat-door relief to one of the family; but they must look at the tendency and operation of the whole law, and the question was whether on the whole the principle now acted on was good. Granting that it was a good 694 one, and that entrance into the workhouse was the best test of a man's inability to procure subsistence, what would they do with the children of the labourer during the two or three weeks for which he supposed the suspension of labour to last? The proposed schools for districts of several unions might be at a distance of twenty miles from the workhouse. Now, the father and mother could claim their discharge at a day's notice at any time. Supposing the children to have been sent to this school, would there not be a complete interruption of scholastic discipline when the master could not know how soon he might have to turn away 100 children in consequence of their parents quitting the workhouse? Even admitting the principle of the regulation to be good, he did not see how they could carry it into effect, if they claimed a right to take away the children of able-bodied labourers, who might be reduced for a short season to become the inmates of a workhouse. He was not speaking of workhouse schools, but of those schools which were to be established for extensive districts. Cases might probably occur in which the vicissitudes of the seasons, occasioning a sudden stoppage of the demand for labour, would bring into the workhouse a considerable number of able-bodied labourers at once, some of whom might have large families. He foresaw great difficulty in determining what should be done with the children during the uncertain period for which their parents should be confined. If, then, it might not seem advisable to incur the risk of sending them to the district school, let them consider whether it would be wise to abandon all provision for education immediately connected with the workhouse. He was much afraid that they must have two sets of establishments for education. He thought the children of convicted felons, being orphans, ought to be educated by the State. He was not quite so clear as his noble Friend (Lord Stanley) with respect to the distinction which should be made in the cases of illegitimate and legitimate children. A woman might have been seduced and have given birth to a child who was her only consolation; and, notwithstanding her unfortunate fall from virtue, she would still regard the child with all the affection of a mother. He was not prepared to say that the State could claim a right to deprive her altogether of that child. But, sup- 695 posing the amendment of his noble Friend to be admitted, was it quite clear that the number of children would be sufficient to render the creation of separate establishments necessary? Should that prove to be so, however, the proposition should have his cordial support. He should be rather sorry, be confessed, considering the expense to which the country had already been put for new workhouses, that the commissioners should press the building of schools just at present. There ought to be great tact in the exercise of their discretion with regard to this subject. The education at present afforded in workhouses was not so bad as some gentleman seemed to think. Take the last case found in the volume of the commissioners' reports which had been cited. Sir John Walsham had reported on thirty-two union workhouses. Out of these he stated there were twelve, the children of which were sent to attend national schools. There were others, to the number of eleven, the children belonging to which attended endowed and other schools not connected with the workhouses. He (Sir R. Peel) found, therefore, that in twenty-three, out of these thirty-two workhouses the children attended schools not connected with the workhouse, leaving only nine where such a practice was not pursued. If, then, they must retain some education in workhouses for the children whom it would be possible to send to the combined school, he was much inclined to think that the policy of building a large school in each case might become more questionable. But these were only matters of detail, He should conclude as he had begun, by stating that if it were found practicable to get a large number of children in a school together, under the superintendence of a clergyman of the establishment, and conducted as the school at Norwood, then, he thought that they would do great good; and, subject to the guards and qualifications which he had stated, he should support the amendment of his noble Friend when it came to the vote.
§ Lord G. Somerset
said, that agreeing very much in what had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman as to the great degree of discretion with which the commissioners ought to exercise this power, he thought that the amendment of the hon. Member for Southwark would be a check against the commissioners running too fast, The amendment was useful, and 696 he should support it. His only objection was that it did not go far enough.
§ Mr. Langdale
said that, notwithstanding the suggestion of the noble Lord, he could not refrain from expressing his regret if he had correctly understood what fell from the right hon. Baronet opposite. In speaking of the district workhouse schools he had understood the right hon. Baronet to say that ail children sent there were to be considered as the children of the State, and were consequently all to be educated in the religion of the State. Such an opinion was so entirely inconsistent with the declarations of religious toleration which he had frequently heard from the right hon. Baronet that he could scarcely believe that he had correctly understood what he had said. He did not mean to say that he would object, as many dissenters did, to the appointment of a chaplain of the Established Church; but if it were pretended that, because the children were left destitute, the State had a right to say, "I have now become possessed of the soul as well as of the body of the children, and in spite of the religion of their parents in which they have been already brought up, I will educate them in the religion of the State," he protested against any such doctrine. He knew that a child of twelve years of age was admitted to the most solemn sacraments of the Roman Catholic religion, and yet this bill would apply to all children under the age of sixteen, and compel them, in spite of their former principles, to adopt the religion of the State. That principle was certainly not adopted in the school at Norwood; for he knew that Roman Catholic clergymen had gone to that school, and there instructed the children of their own faith. He was afraid that the resolution of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock was conformable to the interpretation which he had put upon the speech of the right hon. Baronet.
§ Sir R. Peel
—I stated my opinion most distinctly, that if the parents, or one of them, objected to the education of the child in the religion of the State, you ought to defer to that objection. I have always held that you have no right to force the religion of the State on children whose natural guardians objected to it; and I adhere to that opinion. If a Roman Catholic father, or either of the parents, being Roman Catholics, object to the 697 education of the child in the principles of the Established Church, that objection ought to be scrupulously deterred to. I was speaking of the children of convicts, orphans; and I stated generally that which I thought on the whole to be the best plan. I was not considering every minute objection, as for instance the right of the nearest Roman Catholic relation; but I think I stated sufficient in naming the natural guardians of the child. Perhaps not sufficiently guarding myself against all possible misapprehension, I may have exposed myself to the misinterpretation of the hon. Gentleman; but I can assure him that in this case, as in all others, I am disposed to defer to the religious objections of the national guardians of the children.
§ The Committee divided, on the question that the proposed words be added:—Ayes 172: Noes 108;—Majority 64.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acland, T. D.||Chute, W. L. W.|
|Aglionby, H, A.||Clerk, Sir G.|
|Archdall, M.||Collins, W.|
|Ashley, Lord||Colquhoun, J. C.|
|Attwood, W.||Corapton, H. C.|
|Bagot, hon. W.||Copeland, Alderman|
|Bailey, J.||Corry, hon. H.|
|Baillie, Colonel||Courtenay, P.|
|Baldwin, C. B.||Crewe, Sir G.|
|Barrington, Viscount||Dalrymple, Sir A.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Darby, G.|
|Blackstone, W. S.||De Horsey, S. H.|
|Boldero, H. G.||D'Israeli, B.|
|Boiling, W.||Douglas, Sir C. E,|
|Bramston, T. W.||Douro, Marquess of|
|Broadley, H.||Duncombe, T.|
|Broadwood, H.||Duncombe, hon. W.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Du Pre, G.|
|Brooke, Sir A. B.||Eastnor, Viscount|
|Brotherton, J.||Eaton, R J.|
|Brownrigg, S.||Egerton, W. T.|
|Bruges, W. H. L||Ellis, W.|
|Buck, L. W.||Estcourt, T.|
|Buller, Sir. J.Y.||EtWall, R.|
|Burroughes, H. N.||Farnham, E. B.|
|Canning, rt. hn. Sir S.||Feilden, W.|
|Cantilupe, Viscount||Fielden, J.|
|Cavendish, hon. C.||Fellowes, E.|
|Cavendish, hon. G. H.||Filmer, Sir E.|
|Cholmondeley, hn. H.||Fitzroy, hon. H.|
|Fleetwood, Sir P. H.||Pakington, J. S.|
|Fleming, J.||Palmer, R.|
|Follett, Sir W.||Palmer, G.|
|Forester, hon. G.||Parker, R. T.|
|Fox, S. L.||Patten, J. W.|
|Fremantle, Sir T||Pechell, Captain|
|Freshfield, J. W.||Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.|
|Gaskell, J. Milnes||Perceval, Colonel|
|Gladstone, W. E.||Pigot, R.|
|Gladstone, J. N.||Planta, rt. hon. J.|
|Glynne, Sir S. R.||Pollock, Sir F.|
|Gore, O. J. R.||Powerscourt, Viscount|
|Goring, H. D.||Praed, W. T.|
|Goulburn, rt. hon. H.||Pringle, A.|
|Grant, Sir A. C.||Pusey, P.|
|Grimsditch, T.||Richards, R.|
|Grimston, Viscount||Rolleston, L.|
|Halford, H.||Round, C. G.|
|Hall, Sir B.||Round, J.|
|Hamilton, Lord C||Rushbrooke, Colonel|
|Hawkes, T.||Rushout, G.|
|Hector, C. J.||Salwey, Colonel|
|Heneage, G. W.||Sanderson, R.|
|Herbert, hon. S.||Sandon, Viscount|
|Herries, rt. hn. J. C.||Scarlett, hon. J. Y.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Shaw, rt. hon, F|
|Hodgson, F.||Sibthorp, Colonel|
|Hotham, Lord||Smyth, Sir G. H.|
|Houldsworth, T.||Smythe, hon. G.|
|Howard, P. H.||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Hurt, F.||Spry, Sir S. T.|
|Inglis. Sir R. H.||Stanley, Lord|
|Irton, S.||Sturt, H. C.|
|Jermyn, Earl||Style, Sir C.|
|Johnson, General||Trevor, hon. G. R.|
|Johnstone, H.||Trotter, J.|
|Jones, J.||Turner, W.|
|Kemble, H.||Tyrell, Sir J. T.|
|Knight, H. G.||Vere, Sir C. B.|
|Langdale, hon. C.||Vivian, J. H.|
|Lowther, J. H.||Vivian, J. E.|
|Lygon, hon. General||Waddington, H. S.|
|Mackenzie, W. F.||Wakley, T.|
|Maclean, D.||Walker, R.|
|Mahon, Viscount||Wilbraham, G.|
|Manners, Lord C S.||Wilbraham, hon. B.|
|Martin, J.||Williams, T. P.|
|Marton, G.||Williams, W.|
|Maunsell, T. P.||Wilmot, Sir J. E.|
|Milnes, R. M.||Winnington, H. J.|
|Mordaunt, Sir J||Wodehouse, E.|
|Morgan, O.||Wood, Colonel|
|Morris, D.||Worsley, Lord|
|Muntz, G. F.||Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.|
|Neeld, J.||Young, J.|
|Owen, Sir J.||Wood, B.|
|Packe, C. W.||Gisborne, T.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Berkeley, hon. C.|
|Adam, Admiral||Bewes, T.|
|Ainsworth, P.||Blake, W. J.|
|Baring, it. hon. F. T.||Bodkin, J. J.|
|Baring, hon. W. B.||Bowes, J.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Brabazon, Lord|
|Berkeley, hon. H.||Buller, E.|
|Busfeild, W.||Muskett, G. A.|
|Campbell, Sir J.||Noel, hon. C. G.|
|Chalmers, P.||O'Ferrall, R. M.|
|Chichester, Sir. B.||Ord, W.|
|Clay, W.||Parker, J.|
|Clayton, Sir W. R.||Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H.|
|Clive, E. B.||Philips, G. R.|
|Cowper, hon. W. F.||Pigot, rt. hon. D.|
|Craig, W. G.||Plumptre, J. P.|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Price, Sir R.|
|Divett, E.||Protheroe, E.|
|Duff, J.||Pryme, G.|
|Evans, G.||Rawdon, Col. J. D.|
|Evans, W.||Rice hon. E. R.|
|Ewart, W.||Rich, H.|
|Fazakerley, J. N.||Rickford, W.|
|Fitzalan, Lord||Roche, W.|
|Fitzroy, Lord C.||Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.|
|Goddard, A.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Gordon, R.||Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A|
|Greene, T.||Sanford, E. A.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Seymour, Lord|
|Grote, G.||Sheil, rt. hn. R. L.|
|Hastie, A.||Slaney, R. A.|
|Hawes, B.||Smith, J. A.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Smith, A.|
|Heneage, E.||Smith, G. R.|
|Hill, Lord A. M. C.||Smith, R. V.|
|Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J.||Stanley, hon. E. J.|
|Hobhouse, T. B.||Staunton, Sir G. T.|
|Hollond R.||Stewart, J.|
|Horsman, E.||Stuart, Lord J.|
|Howard, F. J.||Strutt, E.|
|Howard, hon. C. W.G.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Hutt, W.||Teignmouth, Lord|
|Hutton, R.||Thornely, T.|
|James, W.||Townley, R. G.|
|Labouchere, rt. hn. H||Troubridge, Sir E. T|
|Lascelles, hon. W. S.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Warburton, H.|
|Lennox, Lord A.||Ward, H. G.|
|Loch, J.||Winnington, Sir T. E|
|Lushington, C.||Wood, C.|
|Lushington, rt. hn. S.||Wood, G. W.|
|Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.||Wyse, T.|
|Mild may, P. St. John||Maule, hon. F.|
|Morpelh, Viscount||Tufnell, H.|
§ Lord G. Somerset moved, that after the words "infant poor," there be inserted these words:—"who shall be orphans or who shall be deserted by their parents, or illegitimate, or convicts, or whose parents or guardians shall consent thereto."
§ Lord J. Russell
had no objection to the alteration suggested by the noble Lord. Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir R. Peel
thought that the boards of guardians were decidedly the best persons to be intrusted with executive and discretionary powers where there was question of taxation. But for the management of the schools referred to in the clause, it 700 might be better to intrust it in part to intelligent persons on the spot, rather than vest it exclusively in the guardians, who might perhaps reside at a considerable distance. If the guardians consented to the appointment of such persons as managing directors, who was there that could object?
§ Lord J. Russell
was opposed to the principle of the alteration suggested. If any such addition were made to the board of management, the ex-officio managers belonging to the board of guardians would of course very much exceed them in numbers, and outvote them in all cases where there was a difference of opinion.
§ Sir R. Peel
was not shaken in his opinion by what had fallen from the noble Lord; but declined to press his suggestion to an amendment.
§ Mr. Bruges
then moved that the clause be amended by inserting the following after the word "aforesaid" in line 39;—"Provided also, that such principal sum or sums to be raised for the purpose of providing any such building or buildings as aforesaid, and all interest thereon, shall be raised by a special poor-rate to be made on the several parishes or unions so united as aforesaid; and that it shall be lawful for every tenant from year to year, paying such special rate, to deduct and detain out of the rent payable to his or her landlord, for the premises in respect of which such special rate is payable, the full amount of such special rate so paid in respect of the same premises; and every such tenant shall be and is hereby acquitted and discharged of and from the payment of so much of such rent as such special rate so paid as aforesaid shall amount to."
§ Lord J. Russell
would have no objection to the proposed alteration, provided the hon. Member would insert the words:—"One half to be paid by the tenant, and one half by the landlord." It should be borne in mind that if this clause were not inserted in the bill, there Would still be a charge on the rates for maintaining these children in the workhouse.
§ The amendment thus modified was agreed to.
§ On the motion that the clause stand part of the bill,
§ General Johnson moved that the chairman should report progress.
stated that he intended to propose some variation in the words as 701 they at present stood in the motion of of which he had given notice. The motion, as he intended to move it, would stand thus:—"Provided always that in the said combined parish or union schools for the infant poor, a chaplain of the Church of England shall be appointed by the aforesaid board of management, who shall be empowered to regulate and superintend the instruction and training of the children, and shall receive such salary as the Poor-law commissioners shall determine."
§ Lord J. Russell
observed that the hon. Gentleman, at the time that he gave notice of his amendment, had stated very truly what was the practice at Norwood. There undoubtedly a chaplain of the Church of England was engaged; but it was a part of the regulations of the school at Norwood, that any Roman Catholic children that might be admitted to it should be permitted to receive such religious instruction as their parents or guardians might think fit. Now he feared that if the last words of the amendment proposed by the hon. Member were embodied in the bill, viz., that the chaplain should "be empowered to regulate and superintend the instruction and training of the children;" the chaplain, being a clergyman of the Church of England, would very properly feel it his duty not to admit of any instruction in the doctrines of the Church of Rome. He thought, therefore, that if a proviso of this nature were to be appended to the clause, it should at least be of such a kind as would admit of an equal degree of freedom in the instruction of children as was at present permitted at Norwood school, which the hon. Gentleman took as his model.
§ House resumed.
§ Committee to sit again.
§ Colonel Sibthorp moved for returns relative to the cases of Rebecca Moore, deceased, and the child of Peter Ricketts, also deceased, in the Poole Union. If his motion were objected to, he should feel warranted in going into a full statement, of the case.
§ Mr. F. Maule
opposed the motion. He thought it was not fairly brought forward, considering the nature of the notice, and the subject was at present under the consideration of the Poor-law commissioners. When the inquiry was termi- 702 nated he should have no objection to furnish the returns.
§ House counted out.