HC Deb 04 May 1858 vol 150 cc107-8

said, he rose to move That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the condition and administration of the Metropolitan Workhouses, and into the general arrangements made and carried out by the Parochial Authorities of the Metropolis for giving relief to the Poor.


seconded the Motion.


said, he was afraid that the Motion if granted would retard instead of forwarding the object of the noble Viscount. It would be impossible that such an inquiry should be instituted without implying some charge or suspicion upon those concerned in the Poor Law administration of the metropolitan districts. Those gentlemen had been taking great pains for years to improve the accommodation of the workhouses, and to institute schools in connection with them, and those improvements would be for the time put a stop to by the inquiry. Did the noble Viscount impute misconduct to any of the authorities? If so, he ought to have laid before the House some of the details on which that charge was made. He believed that one great object of the noble Lord was that ladies might visit workhouses for the purpose of inspection. There was nothing, however, to prevent such visits being paid at present, and there were many places in which ladies were in the habit of visiting the workhouses of the locality. However unwilling he might be to appear to throw cold water upon any plan for the improvement of the administration of the Poor Law, yet, as the noble Lord had shown no ground for the granting of this Committee, and had not indicated with sufficient clearness the result at which he expected to arrive, he felt bound to oppose the Motion.


, in reply, said, that the right hon. Gentleman had given no good reason why this Committee should not be granted, and therefore he should divide the House.

Motion put, and negatived.

House adjourned at a quarter-after Twelve o'clock.