§ MR. HEALY
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whe- 30 ther he recently received a demand for inquiry, by Ex-Councillor Reid, Edinburgh, in regard to the treatment of children selling newspapers at Waverley Station; whether he read the statements forwarded to him, from twenty children of both sexes, as to the attacks made upon them in the exercise of their calling; and, whether any notice was taken of the subject by the police authorities?
THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR)
Mr. Reid's communication was received, and full inquiry made into the allegation which it contained—the boys and girls said to have been maltreated, as well as the railway officials, and others likely to be able to give information, having been examined. The young persons mentioned a number of specific instances—the dates of which, however, they were unable to state—on which they say they were subjected to rough usage, and their newspapers taken from them, but neither they nor their friends lodged any complaint with the police. The railway officials, on the other hand, deny having assaulted or struck any of these young persons, but say that they cause much inconvenience both to the public and to the officials in discharging their duty, and that the young persons have not infrequently been taken before the Police Court for contravention of the Company's bye-laws, and there fined or admonished. If any charge of maltreatment is made to the police when it occurs it will be duly investigated.