HC Deb 17 July 1884 vol 290 cc1557-60

Resolutions [16th July] reported.

First Four Resolutions agreed to.

Fifth Resolution read a second time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."


said, he wished to refer to a matter to which he had alluded yesterday. He was then treated with scant courtesy; but he intended to challenge this Vote. He yesterday charged the Local Government Board with having reversed the policy of their Predecessors with regard to the removal of Catholic children from workhouses. While he was speaking someone called out "Nonsense!" but he thought he might at least expect that deference which was usually paid to hon. Members of that House. He at once went and made inquiries, and he found that what he had said as to the policy of the Board in London was certainly too strong. He was hardly justified in saying that they had reversed the policy of their Predecessors; because he found that the President of the Board had, in 1882, ordered the removal of a Catholic child in London, and that he had exercised his powers in such respects. Having gone that far, he could go no further. He must, in spite of the interjection from the Treasury Bench yesterday, reavow what he had then stated. The Roman Catholic population were very much dissatisfied, and he and other hon. Members were flooded with letters upon their grievances; and although he might have been technically inaccurate, there was no doubt that he had substantially laid the true state of affairs before the House. There was, in London, a large workhouse which refused to allow Roman Catholic children to be brought up in their own religious persuasion, though the Roman Catholic people were willing to pay for them, and to provide accommodation. It was all very well to say that, after three years' litigation and correspondence with the Local Government Board, something might be done; but it was the duty of the Board to have done it without this great upheaval, and without throwing every possible obstacle in the way. To show how they had failed in their duty, and in the exercise of the law placed in their hands, he had had placed before him, for the hon. Member for Queen's County (Mr. Arthur O'Connor), the Correspondence with the Local Government Board relating to two cases in Sheffield, in which they distinctly refused to exercise their power. Those were his reasons for making his assertions, and he thought they were of a very substantial character, and he intended to emphasize their reassertion by a Division to-night. It was very well to whitewash the Government, and to say they were doing everything they could; but there was the greatest dissatisfaction among the Roman Catholic public. Then he had made another statement, in which he was slightly inaccurate. He had stated that at Hampstead there were four hospitals which were attended by Roman Catholic chaplains gratuitously. In that he was slightly wrong; but he did not think he ought to have been subjected to discourtesy. He ought to have said High-gate; but there the matter was worse. He had mentioned this matter as another cause of dissatisfaction, and as a great hardship upon the Roman Catholics, upon whom the whole burden of providing religious instruction and consolation for the sick and dying was thrown, while chaplains of other religious persuasions were paid for and provided. He thought he had most fully and with substantial accuracy maintained the two assertions he had made, and he must again express his disapproval of the manner in which the Local Government Board conducted their affairs. Although they might make some small concession, he intended to take a Division against the Vote, in order to mark his dissatisfaction with the way in which the Business of this Department was administered.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 78; Noes 27: Majority 51.—(Div. List, No. 165.)

The next Six Resolutions agreed to.

Twelfth Resolution read a second time.


said, when this Vote was discussed in Committee on the previous day, a question was asked of the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Courtney) to which, perhaps, he could now reply, in reference to the Calendar of Instruments and Entries in the Public Record Office relating to Ireland prior to the Reign of Henry VII. For this purpose the sum voted last year was £400; but in the present Estimates there was no such item. What was the reason for the reduction? Was the Calendar complete? If not, how soon would it be completed? He hoped the hon. Gentleman could satisfy Irish Members that the Calendar would not suffer from the cessation of the grant.


said, he had made inquiries, and had ascertained that the compilation of the Calendar was going on, and he hoped not with diminished speed; but the work was now undertaken by the permanent officials of the Office, in office hours, and the expense was covered by salaries in the regular way.

Twelfth Resolution agreed to.

Thirteenth Resolution agreed to.

Fourteenth Resolution read a second time.


said, he had asked the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury a question in reference to the distribution of Acts of Parliament passed during the Session to Members of the House, and he was told he could ascertain at the Vote Office. He had inquired; but was told at the Vote Office that they knew nothing about such Acts; they had received none, and had no order to distribute them. He thought Members should have them as they came out. Would the hon. Gentleman take steps to have them supplied?


said, he thought they must have been withheld on the supposition that they would be supplied in bound volumes. He would make inquiries.


asked, had they been issued in bound volumes?


said, no; but it was suggested that many Members would desire them in that form.

Fourteenth Resolution agreed to.