HC Deb 01 August 1845 vol 82 cc1320-1
Mr. Wakley

wished to ask the right hon. Baronet if he had received any information from the Poor Law Commissioners relative to a practice which he understood to prevail in the Union of Andover in Hampshire. He understood that one of the guardians of the Union had complained to the Poor Law Commissioners that the paupers of the Union were employed in crushing bones, and that, while so employed, they were in the habit of quarrelling with each other about the bones, of extracting the marrow from them, and of gnawing the meat which they sometimes found at their extremities; this was certainly a most serious, as well as a most shocking affair. He could state potitively that one of the guardians had complained of this, and he begged to ask the right hon. Baronet if he had heard anything relative to it from the Poor Law Commissioners, or from any other quarter; and whether he had inquired into the subject?

Sir James Graham,

could not believe in the existence of such an abuse as was embodied in the statement just made. The House must have heard that statement with horror. He himself had never heard any statement similar to that which the hon. Gentleman had made. Had the facts alleged been true he was quite satisfied that they would have been represented to him, and had they been so represented, he would have insisted on the fullest investigation of them. He would again repeat, that he could not believe that such an abuse existed, otherwise he should have heard of it.

Mr. Wakley

Will the right hon. Baronet deem it his duty, after the statement which he had now made, to inquire into the subject?

Sir James Graham

Most certainly; I shall institute an inquiry this very night.