HC Deb 11 June 1863 vol 171 cc703-5

said, he would beg to ask the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir John Pakington), Whether, of the six ladies who were left on the Ladies' Committee of the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum, after the resignation of the majority, one is the wife of the Chaplain of the Asylum, two are the wives of the two Secretaries of the Patriotic Fund, one is at present in Canada, and a fifth has been prevented by illness in her family from ever attending; and also whether any ladies have been added to the Committee; and, if so, when, and how many?


said, that as the Question had been put to him, he would reply to it; but as his right hon. Friend the Member for Tyrone (Mr. Corry) had succeeded Lord Colchester as Chairman of the Committee, such inquiries would in future be more properly addressed to him. As the hon. Member for Bradford no doubt wished to have full information in regard to the state of the Ladies' Committee, he (Sir John Pakington) thought he should best answer his Question by making the following statement;—The Ladies' Committee originally consisted of thirteen members, of whom seven resigned, leaving upon the Committee six—namely, Lady Sarah Lindsay, the hon. Mrs. Wellesley, Mrs. Lefroy, Mrs. Fishbourne, Mrs. Morrison, and Mrs. Kirby. These six ladies had regularly visited the establishment from the disruption until the present time. To five of them the hon. Gentleman's Question had reference. Lady Sarah Lindsay had lately gone to Canada with General Lindsay, who had been appointed to the command of the Guards, and whose efficient services as a Royal Commissioner and a Member of the Committee had therefore also been lost to the institution. Mrs. Kirby was the wife of the chaplain, had not been in the habit of attending, and had now resigned. Mrs. Morrison was the lady to whom the hon. Member had referred, who had been prevented, by illness in her family, from attending; that impediment still existed, and she too had resigned. The two ladies mentioned as the wives of the honorary Secretaries were Mrs. Fishbourne and Mrs. Lefroy, who were still Members of the Committee, and lady visitors. The inference intended to be suggested by the Question, he presumed, was that they were not independent. The experience of the Asylum had, however, shown that husbands and wives were not, of necessity, of the same opinion with regard to the details of school management any more than with regard to other matters. He therefore earnestly hoped that they should retain the services of these two ladies, of whose independence of action he had no doubt. As, although the visitations had continued up to the present time, there was too small a number for the Committee, he had great pleasure therefore in informing the hon. Gentleman that on Tuesday last the Hon. Mrs. Lloyd Lindsay, Lady Pollock, Mrs. Jenkinson (the wife of the rector of Battersea, and sister of the right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary), and Mrs. Lawrence (the wife of Sir John Lawrence), had been appointed, and had consented to act upon the Committee. The number of lady visitors thus amounted to seven; but as the Executive Committee were of opinion that even that number was rather too low, it was intended to increase it to nine. Lady Radstock had consented to become a visitor, and Lady Havelock had been applied to. He hoped that she would consent; but if she did not, some other lady would be asked to join the Committee.