HC Deb 04 June 1857 vol 145 c1103

asked the President of the Poor Law Board, Whether he has received any Communication from the Board of Guardians of St. Marylebone in answer to the Report of the Commissioners of Lunacy, and whether he will have any objection to lay such Communication upon the table of the House; and whether any steps are about to be taken for the purpose of preventing the continuance of the system now prevailing in the Marylebone Workhouse in regard to the treatment of Pauper Lunatics?


said, that, with respect to the first question, a letter had been received from the Board of Guardians of St. Marylebone, accompanied by a copy of a report of a Committee of their own body upon the subject of the hon. Member's question, in which they recommended that certain steps should be taken with the view of remedying the evils which they admitted to exist in connection with the Marylebone workhouse. Subsequently to the reception of that communication he had deemed it desirable that the inspector of the metropolitan district should attend a meeting of the Board, as by law he was entitled to do, and consult with its members as to the steps which ought to be taken for the purpose of devising a remedy for the evils to which they had adverted. That gentleman had accordingly attended a meeting of the Board, but had been requested to walk out of the room, and had been obliged to do so, the guardians refusing to admit his right to interfere in their deliberations. He (Mr. Bouverie) had, however, been advised that such a right did exist in accordance with existing statutory provisions, and he had therefore thought it to be his duty to take proceedings with the view of vindicating that right. Steps had been taken with that object, and the question was now before the Court of Queen's Bench. He had no objection to lay upon the table any papers connected with the subject for which his hon. Friend might deem it desirable to move, and he might add that an inspector, who had been elected by the Board of Guardians, had recently visited the workhouse, and had made a report to the Poor Law Board to the effect that, so far as the accommodation afforded by the workhouse would admit, every effort was being made to place the pauper lunatics upon a satisfactory footing.