HC Deb 28 May 1883 vol 279 cc944-5

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If it is true that recently a female officer in the Infirmary Department of the Belfast Workhouse was detected in the act of concealing a pauper wardsman of that institution in her bedroom for immoral purposes; if so, whether, on the matter being reported to the guardians by the master, they took any steps to reprimand the female in question, or to discontinue her services; and, whether he, as a member of the Local Government Board, will undertake to have the system adopted by some unions, of employing pauper labour, discontinued, in order to prevent a repetition of such scandals, and, in this particular instance, undertake to have the officer referred to disqualified from holding any position of emolument under the Poor Law Board?


Sir, it is the case that a few weeks ago a pauper inmate of Belfast Workhouse was found secreted in the room of one of the nurses, who at once left the employment of the Guardians and sent in her resignation. The woman having resigned, nothing further can be done; but her conduct has been noted in case she should seek employment again in the Belfast or any other Union. The Local Government Board do not think that the employment of paupers as wardsmen and wards-women can be wholly discontinued, especially in large workhouses like Belfast; and the fact of one irregularity having occurred would not justify a change in the management of workhouses, which would entail a large expenditure in the salaries of additional subordinate officers.