HC Deb 19 August 1881 vol 265 cc359-60

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether it is true that a number of Catholic children have been transferred from the Nottingham Workhouse to the New Radford Training Institution; whether on the second Sunday after their removal they were sent to the Protestant Service; whether after protest being made by the Catholic Clergy they were, on condition that they be sent for, and sent back by the manager of the Catholic School, allowed to attend mass on Sundays; whether these children are now sent to the Board School, and will not be permitted to attend the Catholic School though it is under the School Board supervision; whether they are compelled to attend at prayers not in accordance with their own religion; whether three of these children, who are over twelve and not fourteen years, have contrary to Act of Parliament been permitted to absent themselves from mass on Sunday, without having been, as required by the Act of Parliament, pronounced by the Poor Law Board capable of using their own judgment on the matter; and, whether the Catholic Clergy are prevented from seeing these children in reference to their religious duties?


I have not been able to ascertain whether all the allegations implied by these Questions are circumstantially true; but I regret to say that, in the main, they are well-founded. I have been in communication with the Guardians on the subject, and expressed my strong disapproval of the course which they have adopted, at the same time requesting that arrangements may be made to allow ministers of all denominations to visit and instruct children of their own creed, and that the Roman Catholic children may no longer attend any other services than those of their own religion.