§ Order for Third Reading read,
§ MR. COBBETT
said, he could not let the opportunity pass without entering his protest against the Bill. The Bill was oppressive in its character, and gave much too large powers to magistrates. Under one clause, any child over the age of seven, for some fancied or constructive act of vagrancy, might be committed to one of those industrial schools, and kept there until it attained the age of fourteen. That was all very well if the child was an orphan or deserted, but the provisions of the Bill extended equally to the case of children who had parents willing and able to take charge of them. Another provision of the Bill was, that during the residence of a child in one of these schools, the parents would be required to pay a sum of not less than three shillings a week for its support. Now, that was a charge quite out of proportion to the wages received throughout the country, even where the rate of wages was considered high, and no doubt, therefore, 204 the working of the Bill would be productive of much misery in the agricultural districts. The workhouse schools—although vaunted as a success at first—were generally admitted to have been a complete failure. Should he receive any encouragement he would divide the House against the Bill.
§ Motion made and Question put. "That the Bill be now read a third time."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 56; Noes 21: Majority 35.
§ Bill read 3° and passed.
§ House adjourned at a Quarter after One o'clock.