§ (1.) £19,000, to complete the Sum for Special Police.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
said, he thought the Committee were entitled to know from the Government how long these extraordinary expenses were to be continued. He thought there was an enormous array of police in and about the precincts of the House of Commons, which was somewhat ridiculous, unless the Government had special information which rendered their retention, in the opinion of the Government, necessary. The railings surrounding the House were guarded from the outside as well as inside. The interior of the railing was generally empty of the public, but there was an array of police about the Members' entrance, which would be large enough even if there was a crowd to guard against. On Monday night he believed there were two persons in the Members' Gallery, and something like 144 policemen and detectives to look after them. He suggested that this enormous expenditure, which originated in panic—a panic which was so well rebuked by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt) on the previous day—ought now to be changed. The country would not regard the House of Commons as being very reasonable 1259 guardians of the public purse, if more of the money of the public was wasted in connection with the buildings of Parliament than was absolutely necessary. He was told that, at one gate alone, the cost of the police, when added up, represented an outlay of £800 a-year. He wished the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary (Mr. Matthews) to tell them what was the total cost of the whole of the police now employed about the building, and whether there was any possibility of making some reduction in the Vote. So long as there might be reason for these extraordinary expenses, he had refrained from calling attention to the matter; but, as far as he could judge, the need for such precautions did not exist to the same extent now as formerly, and therefore the cost might be reduced.
§ MR. FIRTH (Dundee)
said, he had a Motion on the Paper to reduce the Vote by £37,000, and he would explain shortly to the Committee his reason for moving the reduction. This Vote first appeared in 1885, when the Vote was £21,103—about the sum to which it would be brought if the reductions he moved were adopted. In 1886 the Vote had risen to £21,539; last year it reached £37,000; and this year it was £57,000. Inasmuch as the years in which the dynamite scare was current were those of 1885 and 1880, he thought the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Jackson) was bound to give the Committee a clear explanation of how it came to pass that the Vote was £37,000 more when, according to the ordinary understanding, the dynamite scare was absolutely non-existent. Was there any apprehension at the present time from dynamitards; were the Government in fear of a recurrence of dynamite outrages? To whom was this money paid? Was it paid to the Receiver of the Metropolitan Police; and if to the Government, what Government Department controlled it and paid the men? How many men were employed? The cost per policeman in London was slightly under £100; were there 570 men employed; if not, what was the number, where were they employed, under whose control were they; where were they stationed, and had these police really done anything of value besides guard the House of Commons during the past three or four years? This was 1260 a serious development and augmentation of the Secret Service Fund. Were these policemen taken from the London Force, or were they independently engaged; if so, on what terms? He should like to have information on all these matters. He begged to move the reduction of the Vote by the sum of £37,000.
§ Moved, "To reduce the Vote by £19,000."—(Mr. Firth.)
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
said, this Vote by no means represented an increase. For some years now it had been thought necessary to provide protection for public buildings and the House of Commons, both inside and outside. That protection was afforded by members of the Metropolitan Police, who were withdrawn from what might be called ordinary street duty. He would not undertake to say that every man engaged in this protective duty was replaced by an additional man, but undoubtedly additions had been made to the Force in consequence of the special duties discharged by these men in the protection of the great public buildings. The consequence of this was that an extra burden was thrown on the Metropolitan ratepayers. He confessed that he had watched that increase with great anxiety. To his mind, the expenditure of the Metropolitan Force had of late years increased faster than he could have wished; but inasmuch as this duty was performed by men of the Metropolitan Force in connection with circumstances which were not due to local Metropolitan causes, but in connection with the general interests of the whole community, it was thought that this was not a burden which ought to fall properly on the Metropolis. The Treasury recognized that to some extent, inasmuch as they paid the expenses of the men who were employed in the inside protection of buildings, but up to this time no contribution had been made towards the cost of the men who were employed in respect of outside protection. He thought the Committee would agree with the 1261 principle that the Treasury should assume the Imperial burden in payment of men whose duty it was to guard against possible crime, the origin of which was not local or Metropolitan, but dependent on causes of general policy or Imperial causes. It was therefore equally proper that the Treasury should contribute to the outside as well as to the inside protection. There had not been any extra men employed; on the contrary, they had diminished the number of men employed, and if this extra Vote was not wanted for the pay of men actually employed, it would not be expended, but returned to the Treasury. The extra Vote did not represent extra men put on, but it was placed on the Estimates in order to cover that part of protective duty hitherto defrayed, not by the Treasury, but by the Metropolitan ratepayers. It occurred to him that no distinction ought to be made between inside and outside protection. If they paid the men who were employed inside these buildings, they ought to pay those who were employed in protecting them outside. It was a relief pro tanto to the ratepayers, but he hoped it would not be considered an improper relief, seeing that the purposes for which the money was employed were Imperial and not local. He might add that this protective duty was not all performed in the Metropolis. The police were sent out of the Metropolis to places far remote, and it was obviously not right that the burden of paying their expenses should be thrown upon the ratepayers of the Metropolis. The only reason for the increase of the Vote was that the Treasury were called upon to pay for the whole of the expenses of the men in this class, instead of paying, as formerly, only a portion of them. The hon. and learned Member for Dundee had asked him how many men there were, and where they were stationed?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
said, they were entirely under the control of the Commissioner of Police. He hoped the hon. and learned Member would not press him either as to the exact number of men or the places in which they were located. It was obvious that it would not be right, for public reasons, that he should give information of that kind. He knew that the hon. and learned Member 1262 was actuated by proper motives, but it would not be right, in the interests of the public at large, to give the information asked for. The money was paid to the Receiver of the Metropolitan Police, and it went into the Metropolitan Police Fund in repayment of the expenses of the men employed on special duties, some of them inside and some of them outside the Metropolis, but all for Imperial rather than local purposes. He hoped that it might not he necessary this year to employ nearly so many men on special duty, and that instead of reaching £57,000 the Vote would be considerably less. There had been times, within his own experience, when this extra protection had been thought necessary in this country, but the moment it was considered no longer necessary it had been withdrawn. He could assure the hon. and learned Member that, in this case, the moment it was considered that no further protection from crime and the preservation of order was required, it would be withdrawn.
§ MR. FIRTH
said, in reference to the charge about the dynamite, that in 1885–6 there was some ground possibly for employing these men. The Vote in that year was increased by £16,000, and this year it had increased by £20,000 more. Consequently there must be a double operation which had not been fully explained.
§ MR. MATTHEWS
said, it was his fault if he had not enabled the hon. and learned Member to appreciate what the facts were. In 1885 there was a vast number of men employed in outside duty. The whole cost was paid by the Metropolitan Police Fund. The expenses incurred by employing the men were not covered by this Vote. So also in 1886 and 1887, the expenses not being covered by the Vote. This year, however, there was no ground for drawing a distinction between inside and outside men, and although the number of men employed was fewer, the Treasury met 1263 the expense of all who were employed on special duty. That was the reason of the increase in the Vote.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. JACKSON) (Leeds, N.)
said, he thought the hon. and learned Member for Dundee had rather failed to grasp what his right hon. Friend said. No doubt the figures quoted by the hon. and learned Member for Dundee were strictly correct. The difference arose in this way. The outside men employed in 1885–6 were charged on the Metropolitan Police Fund. As time went on no doubt the increase in the Force led to increase of cost, and the question was then raised as to whether it was reasonable or equitable to charge on a local rate the cost of a Force engaged on special duties. On an appeal being made to it, the Treasury consented to bear on this Vote a portion of the charge which had been hitherto borne by the Metropolitan Police Fund. He might give an assurance that nothing would be charged on this Vote—not a single 6d.—except expenditure for special duties.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
said, he wanted an assurance that the right hon. Gentleman would inquire a little more strictly as to the large number of police employed about the Houses of Parliament, in order to see whether it could not be reduced.
§ MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)
said, he did not think the explanation which had been given to the hon. and learned Member for Dundee (Mr. Firth) was at all satisfactory, and he should like to put one or two further questions to the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary. He would ask, in the first place, if there was any fear of the incidents recurring which had led to the establishment of the Special Police in 1885? Was there any apprehension of a movement of that kind, or were there any rumours in the air? If the right hon. Gentleman would give any information on that point, it would tend to allay the feeling of alarm which a debate of this nature might naturally produce in the minds of the public as to 1264 the special purposes for which a special Vote of this nature was asked. The scare of 1885 no longer existed, and the time had therefore arrived for substantially reducing the Vote, if not for getting rid of it altogether. Then, again, he desired to know if the special force was included in the number of the Metropolitan Police, or were they entirely distinct from the Force which was under discussion last night? In 1885, when the dynamite scare was prevalent, a great part of the duty of protecting the public buildings, for a considerable period, was undertaken by regiments of soldiers. To his mind that was an additional argument why they should not continue to vote these large items for this particular service. He did not see why the military should not be employed again, if it was considered necessary to provide special protection of this kind. Was any portion of this Force told off for the protection of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary in his journeys to and from that House? It was understood that he was always accompanied by a posse of detectives. Did the Vote include anything for that branch of the service, and did it fall to the lot of this special police to arrest the Irish Members who attended in that House in the performance of their Parliamentary duties? He further wished to know whether any portion of this Vote was contributed for the purpose of initiating the police into the mysteries of secret associations. Some time ago, according to the newspapers, there was an agent of the police who paid certain sums of money to become a member of a secret society. It might have been necessary to employ an agent of this kind, but the House ought to have some information when voting sums of this nature. The suggestion he would make to the Government was that if it was really the case—although he did not think they had at all proved it—that it was necessary to provide enormous sums of money in this way for the employment of a considerable number of police constables in this particular service, all the facts of the case should be stated to Parliament. His advice to the Government, however, was to withdraw, not only this special staff, but the police constables, who were engaged in interfering with public meetings in the Metropolis, and employ them in their more legitimate duty of 1265 detecting criminals. For instance, if they would withdraw the mounted police who were engaged on Tuesday in riding down the people in Clerkenwell, and employ them on other business, a considerable reduction in the present Vote might be effected. To put the case of the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary into a nutshell, it simply came to this—that the more the numbers of the Force were reduced, the larger the Vote Parliament was asked to pass. He should continue to protest against the continual increase of this Vote. It was admitted that these men were introduced for a special purpose, and if the special circumstances had disappeared, they had a right to demand that the Vote should be got rid of. Was it intended to make it a permanent Vote? Would they be asked for a similar Vote next year; and, if so, would the total sum be again increased? He hoped the hon. and learned Member for Dundee would press the Vote to a Division.
§ MR. CHILDERS (Edinburgh, S.)
said, he thought that this was a Vote of which the Committee was bound to be jealous. It was an increasing charge, and the House ought to be satisfied, before it assented to it, that it was really getting value for its money. But from his own knowledge of the Home Office, he was compelled to admit that the principle upon which the Vote had been constructed was not an unsound one. As the whole of this £57,000 was strictly applied to the police who were engaged in protecting the House of Commons and public buildings from dynamite outrages, he would advise his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Firth) not to persist in his opposition to the Vote.
§ MR. FIRTH
said, that after the appeal which had been made to him by his right hon. Friend, he would not press the Motion. He would only say that it was clearly understood that it was for the protection of the Houses of Parliament for Imperial purposes only, that this special police was employed. He was glad to hear from the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary, that, in all probability, this particular expenditure would be very much reduced next year; and he hoped that some details of it would be given. If there were no further apprehension from any dynamite 1266 scare, he did not see why they should be called upon to pay for escorting Members to and from that House. Under the circumstances, he would not press the Motion.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)
said, he had no complaint to make of the Metropolitan Police generally, or of those who were employed on special duties about the House. He had some knowledge of the Irish Constabulary, and they were certainly not noted for their civility. The difference between them and the police of London was very marked. Early this year a detective was told off to watch a gentleman who came from the town to which he (Dr. Tanner) belonged. The coarse insults which the man showered upon that gentleman were abominable. The apparent cause of the persecution was that this gentleman was at one time connected with the Gaelic Association in Ireland. He was followed, day after day, from his hotel to his place of business in the City, although he had never been connected with any of those miscreants who traded in dynamite. It was not till his employer threatened to dismiss him, and the officials at Scotland Yard were communicated with, that the nuisance was abated. Increased Votes were now asked for, but no explanation was offered. The real explanation was that the men were wanted to insult Irish Members, and it was intended ruinously to affect any Irishman who was thought to be an enemy of the Government. These police were not wanted merely to watch public buildings, and he should like to know from the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary, whether the men had been systematically employed for the purpose of dogging Irish Members to and from the house. Otherwise, it would be his painful duty to move a reduction in the Vote. On more than one occasion, an humble individual like himself had been honoured with an escort in and about the City of London. He looked upon it as an extremely kind act of attention on the part of the right hon. gentleman the Home Secretary, but he could assure the right hon. Gentleman that there was no danger of his getting lost in any part of London. 1267 At the same time, the escort was unnecessary and might be dispensed with, and that money saved.
§ MR. MATTHEWS
said, he was able to give the hon. Member the most complete assurance that the money to which the Vote related could not possibly be employed in dogging Irish Members. As to the anecdote in reference to the gentleman connected with the Gaelic Association, he thought if the bon. Member was correct in his facts, that the constable had grossly misconducted himself, and he was satisfied that he could hardly be one of the men to whom the Vote for special services applied, as their duties were strictly local. If the hon. Member would kindly give him Notice he would ascertain what the facts of the case were. He hoped the hon. Member would furnish him with the name of the gentleman and the particulars of the case. He must say that a detective who insulted anybody ought to be strongly reprimanded and rebuked.
§ DR. TANNER
said, he should be happy to give the right hon. Gentleman the name of the gentleman and the facts of the case. It would be obviously improper to mention the name at present. So insulting was the man in his manner that he let the cat out of the bag as to what his object was—namely, to worry, annoy, and drive into ruin an unfortunate young man, whose only offence was that he belonged to an Irish political association. When the detective was removed by the authorities at Scotland Yard, and another employed, no similar trouble or annoyance was given. He would be happy to place the facts in the possession of the Home Secretary, in the hope that the Government, in future, when they employed emissaries for the purpose of worrying political opponents, would be more cautious as to whom they employed.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (2) £872,286, to complete the sum for Police, Counties and Boroughs, Great Britain.
§ DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)
said, that here again there was an increase of the Vote. There had been an increase of £20,000 last year, and of £15,000 this. He found that the salaries and allowances were the same, also the travelling expenses and incidental expenses; but when he came to 1268 the item for the pay and clothing of the constabulary he found there was an increase of £15,000. Being an English Vote, he, as an Irish Member, did not like to say much about it; but it appeared to him extraordinary that in connection with such a Vote there should be a constant increase. He should like to get a little explanation in regard to the excess upon this item. Why should the clothing of the police cost more this year than last? Surely the cost of material could not be so very much more, and as there was, practically speaking, no increase in the number of men, it was singular that there should be an increase in any other item. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman who was identified with the Vote would kindly afford some explanation.
§ COLONEL BRIDGEMAN (Bolton) moved to reduce the Vote by the sum of £1,899 4s. 10d., half the cost of the county police employed in Bolton recently. He wished to explain that this sum had already been paid by the locality, and it was unjust that it should be paid over again. Last year there was a strike in the engineering trade, and, as disturbances were feared, those who were responsible for the preservation of the peace in the borough of Bolton asked for the county police to aid them. The county police were accordingly called in, and a sum of £6,500 was paid by the borough of Bolton for the expenses to which they were put. Of this sum £3,798 was the ordinary police wages, and, as the Secretary to the Treasury knew, one-half of that was paid back by the Exchequer out of the Consolidated Fund. The ratepayers of Bolton arranged to pay the whole of it, and yet Parliament were now asked to pass a Vote for one-half—£1,899—which was to go to the County of Lancaster, which would thus receive the money twice over. The ratepayers of Bolton would also be placed in this position: Having already paid the entire sum, they would be required, as ordinary taxpayers, to pay their share of the Imperial Grant. He trusted that the Treasury would be able to suggest some more fair arrangement.
§ Moved, To reduce the Vote by £1,899 4s. 10d.—(Colonel Bridgeman.)
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPART- MENT (Mr. STUART-WORTLEY) (Sheffield, Hallam)
said, the sum alluded to by his hon. and gallant Friend was to cover the cost of services rendered to the borough of Bolton by the employment of the county police, under special circumstances, within that borough. They had been drafted into the borough at the request of the Local Authorities, and no doubt the sum paid by the borough included the ordinary pay of the constables, and special pay for what were called special services. At the same time, the county itself incurred a certain amount of risk in lending the men, and might have sustained injury by having its own Force placed in a position of peril, which might result in some of the men finding their way upon the non-effective list and becoming entitled to pensions. The Home Office had felt itself bound on the evidence before it to decide, in accordance with practice, that one-half of the total sum should be paid over to the county, the borough of Bolton having been saved from great liabilities in respect of damage by riot by having the services of the county police placed at its disposal. The same course was pursued in regard to Blackburn nine years ago, in the case of disturbances there. The Government Grant on that occasion was paid to the County, as the Act of Parliament directed that it should be. No doubt, under the circumstances, the County of Lancaster was the gainer. The hon. and gallant Member suggested that the County should make some allowance to the Borough, and, if there was a way open for a private arrangement, he did not think that such an allowance would be inequitable, and the Home Office would offer no objection.
§ COLONEL BRIDGEMAN
said, the payment was made at a time last year when there was no opportunity of raising the question. He should be quite satisfied if some communication were made to the Lancashire Justices from the Home Office in reference to it.
§ MR. STUART-WORTLEY
said, he had no doubt that the persons who were interested in the matter would naturally take notice of what had been said in Committee of Supply.
§ COLONEL BRIDGEMAN
wished to remind the hon. Gentleman that there was not a very large attendance in the House at that moment, and there were 1270 very few Representatives of Lancashire present.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT (Sussex, N.W.)
said, that this was the last occasion, before the formation of the County Councils, that they were likely to have this question of the police brought under the notice of the Committee, and there was one question which he would like to ask. He wanted to know the exact position in which the Chief Constable would stand in regard to the two Committees—the Police Committee and the County Council Committee. Were either of those Committees to have power to dismiss the Chief Constable, or were they not? Was the Home Secretary still to exercise the power of dismissal, or was it to be delegated to the new Body? The question was one of considerable importance at the present moment, seeing that the new Body was shortly to be created. He had a further question to ask, which was also an important one. With regard to the other arrangements of the police, he presumed the Chief Constable would have exactly the same power he always had possessed with regard to the distribution of the Force and the promotion of its officers.
said, the hon. and gallant Member was irregular in raising that question, seeing that it was not dealt with in the Vote now before the Committee.
§ MR. STUART-WORTLEY
said, the Home Office could not refuse consent to reasonable increases of provincial Police Forces. The police naturally increase pari passu with the population and the rateable value, the number of inhabited houses, and the length of streets to be patrolled; and he had no doubt the hon. Member would find that the natural and automatic increase was due to those circumstances.
§ DR. TANNER
asked if he was to understand that this automatic increase had been going on for years to the extent of £15,000 a-year; that there had been such an increase in the population last year, and in the rateable value, that the increased cost of the Police Force had amounted to £15,000? Any intelligent person who went into the matter would regard the statement of the hon. Gentleman with a certain amount of surprise. The total sum now asked for for the police was £875,000, and if it were to go on increasing at this rate every year, what would it be by-and-bye? The matter was clearly one that was worthy of investigation, for he failed to understand why there should be such an automatic increase to such a terrible extent. The explanation of the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State disclosed another fault in regard to those Estimates. He (Dr. Tanner) had asked what that increase of £15,000 was due to, and the hon. Gentleman informed him that it was merely the automatic increase to the cost of the Force. In such circumstances it was most desirable that there should be some detailed accounts in the Estimates. He had pointed out in the course of his remarks that there did not appear to be an increased number of men.
said, he must inform the hon. Member that his remarks were perfectly irrelevant to this Vote.
§ DR. TANNER
said, he was merely asking that the Committee should have some knowledge of the case why this increased amount of money was asked for. He desired to know the special purposes for which the increased Vote was to be passed. So far, all he was told was that it was due to an automatic increase arising from the increase of population and the rateable value. He therefore wanted to know what the increase had been in the number of men, or whether the additional cost was for clothing, or what other particular branch of the expenditure was the occasion of the increase?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
said, the hon. Member would find an explanation of the exact increase in the number of men upon page 245 of the Estimates. It would be seen that, as a matter of 1272 fact, fewer men were needed this year than last. He thought there were eight men less. There had been an actual increase in some counties, but six of the boroughs in Lancashire had elected to take over the control of the police into their own hands. That was the reason why in the counties this year the actual number of men was less than it was last year. As a matter of fact, there had been an increase in the number of men, although, judging from the Estimates, there would appear to have been an actual decrease. The total increase in the number of men employed in England and Wales was 332. The application for an increase in the Police Force always came from the locality and was made to the Court of Quarter Sessions.
§ Vote agreed to.
(3.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £311,180, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1889, for the Expenses of the Prisons in England, Wales, and the Colonies.
§ MR. CHILDERS (Edinburgh, S.)
said, he wished to say a word or two upon this Vote; and in the first place he desired to express the satisfaction which he felt at the reduction which had taken place in the Vote. There was a reduction of £30,000 or £40,000, and he thought that that was a subject of congratulation. The prisons were under the eye of Sir E. Duncane, the head of the Department, and all who had been in official relations with him agreed that no one at the head of a great Office was more successful in enforcing judicious economy. As he had said, in connection with a previous Vote, he was not responsible for the present Vote during the short time he was at the Home Office; he only took over the Estimates which he found there, and before he left the Home Office the task of preparing the Estimates for the coming year had not commenced. His hands were, therefore, free; but he wished to call the attention of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Matthews) to the great inequality which existed in regard to the payments of chaplains and doctors in England as compared with Scotland and Ireland. Anyone going through the Estimates 1273 would see that in Scotland and Ireland the rates of pay in respect of these officers was much less than in the English prisons. He did not know on what grounds that difference was justified, and why it should be necessary to pay a higher rate for both classes of officers in England. He had no desire to enter into details, but he wanted to hear what explanation the Government had to make. To begin with, he was unable to make out why the rates of pay, for instance, of the chaplains employed in the English prisons and those employed in the Scotch and Irish prisons should show such an enormous difference in favour of the English chaplains. If hon. Members would refer to page 254 they would see that almost the whole of the chaplains employed in England received salaries of £300 and £400 a-year. If they would refer then to the subsequent estimates for the Scotch and Irish prisons, they would find that in Scotland no chaplain received more than £300 a-year, while in Ireland the difference was still more marked, as no chaplain in that country received as much as £200 a-year. He did not know why there should be such a discrepancy in the payments. At pages 335, 338, and 339, the Vote for the Irish chaplains was given, and it would be seen that no Irish chaplain received more than £200 a-year. The general rate was from £150 to £200. The most highly-paid chaplains only received £200, and they were probably chaplains who had been appointed before the disestablishment of the Irish Church. Similar discrepancies existed in the case of the prison doctors. In the prisons in England the surgeons were paid much more than the doctors attached to the prisons in Scotland and Ireland, although the duties were entirely the same. He wished to have an explanation of the reason why a higher rate of pay was given. When he came to add up the number of chaplains and doctors employed in England, the right hon. Gentletleman the Secretary of State would find that the difference amounted to a very large sum, to several thousands a-year in the aggregate. It was therefore important to press on the Home Office the necessity of looking specially into the matter. If anything could be done to equalize the rates of payment the Homo Office would remove a very great sore which 1274 was felt in Ireland and Scotland at finding they were paid so very much worse than their confrères in England. No doubt it would be impossible to interfere with vested interests. He should be the last person to make a suggestion of that kind; but he thought that when it became necessary to fill up vacancies, and make fresh appointments to the offices of chaplain and doctor in England, the appointments should be made on a new scale.
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
said, he had put down an Amendment to this Vote to reduce it by £1,000, in order to place the English prison surgeons and chaplains on the same level as their Scotch and Irish brethren. He had on several occasions called attention to this matter in the shape of Questions; but the answer he usually received was one which rendered matters more secure by elucidation and darkened by explanation. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury (Mr. W. H. Smith) told them that evening that the three Kingdoms were united. No doubt, so far as Scotland was concerned, they were united when they wished the Scotch people to pay a tax; but they were not a united Kingdom when it was proposed to expend any money upon a Scotch subject. He wished to point out that this great inequality not only occurred with reference to this Vote, but in regard to every Vote which was to follow. According to the replies he had received in the past from the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Jackson), it seemed to be thus—that because some of the higher-paid surgeons in England were surgeons in the convict prisons, that that was a full explanation why they should receive a higher rate of payment for their services. Now, they had only got one convict prison in Scotland, and in that case the surgeon only received £100 a-year; so that, as a matter of fact, the surgeons of convict prisons did not invariably receive a higher rate of payment than the surgeons of ordinary prisons. Nor was the surgeon of a convict prison required to do the work of an ordinary prison surgeon. An ordinary prison surgeon had to examine all the prisoners who were brought before him, while the convict prison surgeon had not anything like the same amount of work to do, because the men he was 1275 required to attend went in for a long period of years, whereas, in the case of an ordinary prison, new men were constantly coming in, all of whom had to undergo an examination. At Kirkdale there were 515 prisoners, and at Leeds 490; so far as numbers were concerned, those prisons were similar to that of Glasgow, which had 450, and the prison at Perth, which had 500. At Barlinnie, the great Scotch prison, there were 735 prisoners, yet there was only one surgeon, with a salary of £200 a-year; while at Wakefield, with about the same number of prisoners to attend daily, there were two surgeons, one of whom was paid £450 a-year, with an assistant surgeon at £250. In the case of Scotland the surgeon had to do all the work himself, while in England the principal surgeon had an assistant. The maximum paid to any Scotch surgeon was £300, whereas the assistant surgeon of Wakefield began at £250. It must be borne in mind that the gentlemen employed in the two countries came from the same class; and it could not be said that the discrepancy arose in consequence of a greater expense involved in living in England, because all these gentlemen are housed free. In his (Dr. Clark's) opinion the discrepancy arose from this fact—that whenever any Vote was wanted for Scotland, it was refused. The Scotch Members were always doing their best to reduce the expenditure of the country; but they did not find that their English confrères were willing to aid them in carrying out the same object. Then, in regard to the prison chaplains. They were in the same position. He was not in favour of State chaplains at all; but while they did employ them in their prisons he did not see why a Presbyterian clergyman should be paid only one-half of what they considered it desirable to pay to an Episcopalian chaplain. He did not see why a chaplain of the first class in Scotland should begin at a salary of £200, while in England it was £400. He intended to press the Motion for the reduction he had moved to a Division. He had referred to the subject last year, and had endeavoured time after time since to obtain a satisfactory explanation from the hon. Gentleman the Secre-to the Treasury, but without effect. Unless he got a satisfactory explanation why in the Scotch prisons the surgeons 1276 should be paid £50 a year less than the assistant-surgeon of an English prison, he should consider it his duty to take a Division, as a protest against the unequal payment of surgeons and chaplains in the two countries.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item D, Pay and Allowances, be reduced by £1,000, in respect of Medical Officers and Chaplains."—(Dr. Clark.)
§ DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
said, he was glad that the question had been raised by his hon. Friend the Member for Caithness (Dr. Clark), because it was one in which he had taken a great deal of interest, and he was curious to hear what explanation could be given from the Treasury Bench. The discrepancy was so very great that he could hardly see what explanation could possibly be given. They were told by his hon. Friend that the chaplains and doctors were exactly of the same class, both in England and Scotland, and what his hon. Friend had said was perfectly correct, that the work of the surgeons in Scotland was much heavier, more continuous, and more responsible than that of the same class of men in England. They had to examine very carefully and report upon the condition of the large number of prisoners who were weekly, and almost daily, passing through their hands. The only explanation he could see was that as a general principle everything was worse paid in Scotland than in England. Personally, he should feel inclined to say that it was a case for levelling up, rather than levelling down; he did not say that the English surgeons were paid too much, but he maintained that the prison surgeons of Scotland were paid too little.
§ MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)
said, he wished to say a few words upon this Vote, because he had been prevented last year from bringing before the Government, as well as he could have wished, the question of the chaplains which had been raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers). It was not his fault but due to something else, having been ruled out of Order. He objected altogether to this system of paying chaplains considerable salaries for all the different prisons. If they would look at the list which appeared 1277 on page 260 of the Estimates, they would find an entry of the assumed average daily number of prisoners attended, and they would find that in a very small number of the prisons was there anything like as many as 100 persons in daily average occupation. He scarcely understood what was meant by the words, "assumed daily average." Were they to understand that that represented the number of prisoners actually in prison from month to month, or what? If hon. Members would look down the list, they would find that there were a very large number of prisons in which there were only 50 prisoners, and in most of them there were under 100. He would take one particular prison—namely, that of Dorchester, of which he had received information from persons who were cognizant of the facts. He was assured that in that case the assumed average number, put down in the Estimates at 115, was greatly in excess of the real number, and that it would be more correct to say that the average daily number of prisoners was something like 60. But whatever the general average might be in those prisons, he did not see what they wanted with a chaplain, who was paid a salary of £200, £250, £300, and as much as £450 a-year, for the purpose of looking after them. Last year, in answer to a Question he had put, he was told that it was impossible to cashier all these chaplains at once; but it was suggested that, as they died off or resigned, their places would not be filled up. He did not know whether that was the policy which was now adopted by the Government. [Mr. MATTHEWS dissented.] He saw that the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary shook his head, and therefore he assumed that it was not. He submitted to the Government that it would be very easy to do this business of religious instruction, or whatever business the Chaplains were supposed to perform at the prisons, at a much cheaper rate. Without dealing with such prisons as those at Wandsworth and Pentonville, with 1,150, or Liverpool with 1,000, or Strangeways at Manchester, but with prisons where there were an exceedingly small number of prisoners, he did say that it was au extravagant and wasteful expenditure to maintain on the establishment chaplains who were paid £400 a-year for their services. He re- 1278 presented an important portion of a county which was almost entirely devoid of crime; indeed, it was the usual rule for the Judge who attended the Assizes at Bodmin to receive a pair of white gloves. At any rate, the average number of prisoners in the gaol there was only put down at 40; so that showed how exceedingly free from crime, with a population of more than 330,000, that part of the county was. With so small a number of prisoners, he felt bound to deprecate the appointment on the establishment of chaplains with high salaries. He would suggest to the Government that there was an easy remedy for this state of things. He would suggest that the religious functions and ceremonies required by the prisoners should be performed, not by separate chaplains who were made fixtures in the prisons, and had practically nothing to do on week days, except in special circumstances, and whose principal duty was to conduct one, or at the most, two services on Sunday; he would suggest that they should follow the same line which had been pursued, with much advantage, in connection with the workhouses. In the workhouses they never thought of having a separate chaplain, but they obtained the services of some of the resident clergy. He believed that in connection with the Union Workhouse at Redruth, in his own Division, the Rector of the parish within which the workhouse was situated, received about £40 a-year for his ministrations there. He was a most estimable gentleman, and did all that was necessary for the benefit of the occupants of the workhouse; and he would venture to say that there were more persons in that workhouse than there were in the gaol at Bodmin. Take, for instance, another gaol which he had already mentioned—namely, that of Dorchester, of which he knew something, because he had relations who live there. [Laughter.] He did not mean that they lived in the gaol, but in the town; and he had mentioned the fact, because he wished the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary to understand that he was not putting forward merely theoretical views. In the Town of Dorchester there were numerous reverend gentlemen, some of whom were perfectly willing to do all that was necessary in the way of ministerial duties 1279 in the gaol for a far less sum than that which was paid to the chaplain of a prison for attending to the religious wants of the prisoners. He maintained that their expenditure in this direction was wasteful and wholly unnecessary, and he failed to see why they did not apply to the gaols the same principle which had been found to work so well in the workhouses. Indeed, there was nothing to occupy the whole time of the chaplains, and if the Government would cause an inquiry to be made, they would find that in all the towns where those gaols existed they would be able to obtain the services of clergymen and ministers of different denominations who would do all they required for £40 or £50 a-year. Indeed, their duties in the gaols would amount to a very small addition to their customary duties in the parish. Another reason why he pressed this matter upon the Government was, that he found on page 254 of the Estimates that the Presbyterian visiting clergymen only received £100 a-year. He did not know what his visits consisted of, and whether he visited only one gaol, but he would suggest that, as it was possible to get a Presbyterian minister to visit a prison and do what was necessary for £100 a-year, it would be just as easy to get clergymen of other denominations to undertake the same duties for the same remuneration. He thought it was wrong to go on paying those large salaries to gentlemen whose duties were exceedingly light. There was another matter in connection with this Vote which he was anxious to refer to, seeing that it related to the personal health and comfort of the prisoners themselves. He thought the right hon. Gentleman would not contradict him when he said that it was the universal rule for the prison cells to be whitewashed. The walls, consequently, were very dazzling to the eyesight. He had no wish to introduce Irish matters in this question, but he believed hon. Members behind him would support him when he said that, through the constant glare of the whitewashed walls, the eyesight of the persons confined in them had become much injured. He believed that that had been the case with most of the prisoners who were sent to gaol, and he held that they had no right, physically, to injure any man whom it was found necessary 1280 to send to prison for the commission of any crime, whether political or otherwise. Therefore, if it could be shown—and he was satisfied it could be shown—that the glare of the white walls did produce an injurious effect on prisoners who were confined in gaol for weeks and months, Her Majesty's Government ought to see whether they could not remedy the evil, so as not to inflict a permanent injury upon the prisoners. He would ask the right hon. Gentleman to give an undertaking that he would make inquiry as to whether it was not possible to cover the walls of the cells with a different coloured wash—say green, pink, or blue. All that he asked was that the right hon. Gentleman would make an experiment in the matter. He was speaking now of the class of men and women who were not able to represent their own grievances in that House. He thought it was a matter of common humanity that they should not inflict upon the prisoners permanent injury. If the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary would consider the points which had been urged, both in regard to prison chaplains and surgeons, he thought it might be possible, in future, to face the amount of the Vote.
§ MR. MOLLOY (King's Co., Birr)
said, he was sorry that he was obliged to differ from his hon. Friends in reference to the question of prison chaplains.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
rose to Order. He understood his hon. Friend to move the reduction of the Vote for surgeons and not for chaplains. Was it competent, therefore, to discuss the question of the chaplains on that Motion?
said, the Question he had put to the Committee was for the reduction of the Vote in both classes.
§ MR. MOLLOY
said, that in the case of the chaplains it was necessary that they should be permanently attached to the prisons. It would be most undesirable to have one chaplain coming in one week and a different man the next. It was therefore necessary that every prison should have a chaplain attached to it, who should attend to the religious wants of the prisoners and have no other work to do. The work of the chaplains in the prisons was about the best kind of work that could be done, because a considerable number of persons in the gaols were persons who 1281 were rather there by accident, and not because they were professional or habitual criminals. They had rendered themselves liable to punishment for having committed one single fault, and they were, therefore, peculiarly amenable to the influence of the chaplain of their own denomination. He, there fore, could not support his hon. Friend in the policy he had advocated of doing away with the office of prison chaplain. There was, however, a considerable discrepancy in the pay of chaplains of different countries. He knew nothing about the number of chaplains employed who belonged to the Established Church, and whether they were absolutely necessary or not, but he could not see what reason there could be for selecting chaplains of one creed, which he would call the English creed, and giving them double the salary of other clergymen of the Scotch and Irish creeds. At the same time he might say, on behalf of the Roman Catholic chaplains, that he was satisfied with the remuneration they received. He thought that £200 a-year, rising to £250, was sufficient for the purpose. It was given merely in the nature of sustenance and support to them in carrying out the objects of their sacred calling, but to give large salaries to a considerable number of chaplains of one particular denomination was altogether unnecessary, in addition to which there was the danger of creating appointments in the nature of sinecures, which would be sought for that reason, and not for the purpose of doing good. There was another reason why he was in favour of the retention of prison chaplains. Considerable progress had been made of late years in regard to the aid given to prisoners on leaving gaol by such institutions as "The Prisoners' Aid Society." The officers of such Society were able to hear from the chaplains, who being in constant attendance on the prisoners knew a great deal about them, and the prisoners thus were consequently able to obtain assistance and good advice when they left the gaol. He certainly thought that the distinction drawn in the payment of clergymen of different creeds was marked, and afforded a justifiable ground of complaint both to the Scotch and Irish Members. He was of opinion that a reduction might fairly be made in the Vote, and, if possible, in the number of chaplains 1282 employed also. The contrast, so far as the payment was concerned, was very great, and no satisfactory reason was given for it. It was simply a remanet of the old rule and custom observed in the House of Commons, that where Scotch and Irish matters were concerned economy should be practised, but where English matters were concerned there should not be economy, but absolute waste and extravagance.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said, he entirely agreed with his hon. Friend, and did not think that the Committee would vote in favour of there being no chaplains at all. That, however, was not the question. Nobody asked that there should be no chaplains in the gaol; but they were simply asking that those gentlemen should receive a fair and adequate, but not an excessive, amount of remuneration. In many cases, clergymen with not more than £200 a-year had to do a considerable amount of duty in the parish, while the prison chaplain was paid a salary of £400 a-year. There was not the slightest question that if those offices were thrown open to the clergy of the Established Church in the locality, or to other creeds, there would be an enormous number of applications from gentlemen who would be ready to undertake them for £100 or £150 a-year. The strong point was that the State did not pay Roman Catholic clergymen nor Presbyterian clergymen the same sums which they paid for clergy of the Established Church. Nor did they pay the clergy in Scotland at the same rate as they paid the clergy in England. He thought there ought to be one fair rule. Let all denominations be paid alike, and then they could discuss whether the amount was excessive or not. Because it happened that in that House the clergy assumed a sort of predominance and superiority over other sects, there was no reason why the clergy of the Established Church should, therefore, receive higher remuneration than those of other sects. He was not going to state his own religious views, nor to what Church he belonged; but assuming that he belonged to the Church of England—he meant the Established Church of England—he should be the very last, and he could not understand how any member of the Church could do it, to insist on the predominance of the members of his own particular Church 1283 over everybody else. It did appear to him that gentlemen who were opposed to the doctrines of disendowment and disestablishment were doing great service to those doctrines by putting forward a plea that so long as the Church of England was not disendowed and not disestablished its members should be paid for the services they had rendered on a far higher scale than was accorded to the clergy of other denominations for the performance of precisely similar duties. He thought there ought to be a fixed amount of remuneration for clergymen of all creeds.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. JACKSON) (Leeds, N.)
said, he quite acknowledged the kindly spirit in which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers) had introduced this question, and he was already acquainted with most of the facts which had been commented on by hon. Members. But really the whole question was a very simple one. There were two prisons in Glasgow now—the Glasgow Prison and the Barlinnie Prison. The Glasgow Prison was originally a large prison, and the pay of the surgeon connected with it was settled by consultation. When Barlinnie Prison was established the duty of looking after it was given to the same gentleman who was the surgeon of the Glasgow Prison; but by and bye Barlinnie got so large that it became necessary to make a now arrangement, and the question was whether the surgeon of the Glasgow Prison should receive the services of an assistant, or whether the two prisons should be entirely separated? In the end the two were separated, and a surgeon was appointed to each of them. It so happened, however, that Barlinnie Prison had become the larger establishment of the two, but the surgeon attached to it received the smaller of the two salaries. He would remind the Committee, however, that the appointment was quite a recent one, and the gentleman who accepted the office made no objection to the salary. It did, however, so happen that the gentleman who had been appointed surgeon at the Barlinnie Prison—the larger prison of the two—had the smaller salary. There were two plans by which this undoubted anomaly could be corrected—one would be to give a slight increase 1284 to the salary of the surgeon at Barlinnie; and in that respect he would point out that the appointment had been recently made, and that the gentleman who took the office was appointed practically upon a permanent salary. The other plan, which was quite within the competence of the Scotch Office, was to transfer the more highly-paid surgeon from Glasgow to the larger prison at Barlinnie, and bring the surgeon of Barlinnie Prison to Glasgow Prison. He had most carefully considered the matter in conjunction with Sir Edward Du Cane, who, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh had said, had a larger experience in connection with these matters than any other man in the country; and they had come to the conclusion that, although there was an anomaly, and he was prepared to admit that the payment of the surgeon at Barlinnie was rather less than the circumstances warranted, yet, at the same time, it was open to contend that the payment of the surgeon at the Glasgow Prison was rather more than was necessary.
§ MR. JACKSON
said, the ground was that the surgeon received a larger salary because he had previously filled the two offices of surgeon at the Glasgow and surgeon at the Barlinnie Prison. The excess might be regarded as something in the shape of a personal allowance, which, in all probability, if a vacancy were to occur, would not be continued to his successor. It would be absolutely impossible to draw a hard-and-fast line, and to make a scheme which should be applicable to every case. A comparison between the English and the Scotch prisons showed, no doubt, that the lower rate was paid to the latter; but there were no prisons in Scotland with so many inmates as were to be found in the largest English gaols. In some of the English prisons there were as many as 1,300 prisoners. His right hon. Friend the Home Secretary informed the House that the number was still larger. The prison now in course of erection at Wormwood Scrubbs would, he believed, have room for 1,400 prisoners. There was no such prison in 1285 Scotland, and, so far as he remembered from the Scotch scale of payments, there was a classification according to numbers; but there was no provision made for prisons with more than 700 inmates. The English scale was divided into many gradations—that was to say, that the classification represented a less number between one scale and the next above it. Of course, it was quite open to consideration whether the existing scale might not be advantageously revised, and whether they were not paying on too high a scale. They were now settled practically on the lines of the salaries paid by the Local Authorities previous to 1877, when the prisons were taken over by the Government under Lord Cross's Act. The scale was settled at that time on the lines of the amount that had been given previously, and, apparently, the scale adopted by the Local Authorities in England was higher than that of the Local Authorities in Scotland. That, no doubt, was one reason why there was some discrepancy. The suggestions which had been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers) were quite worthy of consideration, with a view to seeing whether the system of classification to which he had referred ought not now to be revised. His own opinion was that they ought to have a scale rising from 200. For instance, one classification for prisoners less than 200, and the next for 400, then 600, 800, 1,000, 1,200, and 1,400. But, at the time the classification was made, there was no prison containing so large a number of prisoners as some of the gaols contained now. There had been going on for some years a process of closing the smaller prisons, and concentrating the prisoners in the larger prisons. It was considered that that tended to improve the discipline of the prisons. With regard to the chaplains, he pointed out that it was quite impossible for gentlemen to discharge the duties of chaplains in large prisons if they had other duties to perform outside. He understood that the hours of service in prisons in this country were about the same as those in churches and chapels. The payments which were made, he believed, were based on population, and he was not prepared to say that anomalies did not exist; but he thought, on the whole, that the arrangements were made fairly 1286 as between England, Ireland, and Scotland, and that the small anomaly which he was prepared to admit did exist amounted, at the outside, to not more than £50 a-year. In dealing with these salaries the tendency was to endeavour to extract more money from the Treasury, and it was very difficult to resist demands sometimes when individuals found strong support in Members of Parliament. If the hon. Gentleman opposite asked why, if the amount were so small, it was not altered, he would answer that if they began to tamper with individual cases they would not know where to stop. He could assure the hon. Gentleman that there was every disposition on the part of the Treasury to inquire into the anomaly which existed, and try to remove grievances.
§ MR. CHILDERS
said, the Committee would be obliged to the hon. Gentleman for the way in which he had promised that this matter should be looked into; but the hon. Gentleman appeared to think that this was a small matter, whereas it was, indeed, a very large one. There were 150 surgeons and chaplains on salaries provided in this Estimate for England only, and the total amounted to between £35,000 and £40,000. When they saw that the large sum he had mentioned was spent in England, and that the scale itself was nearly double that applied to Scotland and Ireland, he thought they ought to have a distinct promise from the Representatives of the Home Office that the scale should be reduced, so that everyone hereafter appointed should not receive more than the sum fixed. If the hon. Gentleman would give the Committee an assurance that the Treasury and Home Office would at once take in hand a new scale for the payment of chaplains and surgeons, he would undertake to say that in the course of years, as vacancies occurred and vested interests ceased, a reduction of £10,000 per annum would be thereby secured. As he had said, the question was a very large one, and he should not ask the Committee to take his view were it not that he felt strongly upon this subject. He would ask the right hon. Gentleman, or the hon. Gentleman at his side, to say that the Treasury and the Home Office would set to work and reform the scale of payment in the case of these officers.
§ MR. JACKSON
said, he did not suppose that the right hon. Gentleman wished to reduce the salaries of the existing officers.
§ MR. CHILDERS
said, he wished the Treasury and the Home Office to frame a new scale for all fresh appointments and promotions. He had no wish to interfere with existing payments.
§ MR. JACKSON
said, that while he desired to give the Committee every assurance that the question would be most carefully considered, he would point out that there were some difficulties which might arise to make it almost impossible to give immediate relief. It was very easy for hon. Members to get up and ask the Government to pledge themselves on every Vote and on every item to make a reduction or some alteration, but it was a physical impossibility for them to deal with all these questions at once; there must be some little time given for due consideration, and, therefore, he thought he was not unreasonable in asking for it. What was the position of the Treasury at that moment? It was occupied in the defence of one set of Estimates and in the preparation of another, and the present was the very busiest period of the year. As he had said, there was a limit to human endurance, but he promised the right hon. Gentleman that what it was possible to do should be done.
§ DR. CLARK
said, he had asked two months ago whether the Scotch surgeons who were paid the salaries mentioned in the Estimates had a greater or less numbers of prisoners to attend than the English surgeons, and the answer of the hon. Gentleman was that there was a less number of prisoners in the Scotch prisons. But in the prisons at Glasgow and Edinburgh there was a larger number of prisoners than in the same class of English prisons, and his contention was that the surgeons should be paid on the English scale in the Scotch prisons. The hon. Gentleman told him last year that the matter should receive his consideration, but, as his consideration had produced on practical effect, he should divide the Committee upon his Motion to reduce the Vote, unless the hon. Gentleman would say that there should be one scale applying equally to England and Scotland according to the number of prisoners. If the hon. Gentleman would 1288 give that assurance he should be ready to withdraw his Motion, but as the matter stood they were paying men in Scotland, having the same qualifications, and drawn from the same class, only about one-half what they were paying to those in corresponding positions in England.
§ MR. JACKSON
said, he was afraid he could not satisfy the hon. Gentleman in the manner he wished. He could not pledge himself, and he had no information at hand to enable him, when challenged in this manner, to say without a moment's hesitation that the Government would deal with this matter. The scales were misleading, because they did not in every case indicate an equal number of prisoners. He had made an examination with regard to the offices held in Scotland, and he could assure the hon. Gentleman that if a hard-and-fast rule were applied, and the English scale, according to population, were adopted, there would be as many salaries reduced in Scotland as would be increased. He was quite ready to rectify anomalies, but he thought the hon. Gentleman must be aware that he could not make pledges that he did not see his way to fulfil.
§ DR. CLARK
said, the hon. Gentleman had made a statement which he could not allow to pass unchallenged; he therefore called his attention again to the subject, and asked him whether the figures placed in the hands of hon. Members were accurate or not, because, in the former case, the statement of the hon. Gentleman could not be accurate. He found that the prison he referred to stood at the head of the four Scotch prisons, and that the daily number of inmates was 735; whereas the numbers given for Leeds were 583, for Birmingham 586, and for Kirkdale 594. That being so, he did not see how any change, such as was proposed, could affect Scotch surgeons except in the way of increasing the money paid for surgeons.
§ COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)
said, that the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury had, in reply to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers), used an extraordinary argument, inasmuch as the reason he gave for not adopting the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman was that the Government had in hand two sets of Estimates. So far as the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to 1289 the Treasury was concerned, he allowed that this was a valid argument, but it was one which undoubtedly reflected upon his official superiors and the responsible Members of the Government, and he would ask how it affected the taxpayers of the country? His argument was that, because the Treasury had two sets of Estimates, one set of these Estimates could not be put right; in other words, because the Government had muddled away the time of the House, the anomalies which had been pointed out in the course of the discussion must continue to exist. But it was not only Scotland that was badly treated; he wished to draw attention to the unfair manner in which Irish officials were treated as compared with those of England. He found that the chaplains in English prisons received £400 or £500 a-year, whereas those of a corresponding class in Ireland only got £100, and the great majority of them only £80 a-year. He did not see why this anomaly should be allowed to exist. If the hon. Gentleman would entertain the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh, and would agree to modify the scale before next Session, either the officials of Ireland and Scotland would get the same amount of pay, or the taxpayers in Ireland and Scotland would get the benefit of contributing less to the general taxation in future. The anomaly that had been pointed out was one which he did not think the Government could justify; but he had risen chiefly to draw attention to the extraordinary argument of the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury, with respect to the Department having in hand two sets of Estimates, and he thought the Government ought either to increase the staff of assistants at the Treasury, or else to take care in future that the business of the country should not be postponed to the last moment, and the undue pressure of work be made the reason for not reforming existing anomalies.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
asked, whether it would be competent for him, after the Committee had divided on this Amendment, to raise the question of the salaries of the medical officers at Kirkdale Prison, Liverpool, before the Vote was passed?
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 101 Noes 161: Majority 60.—(Div. List, No. 291.)
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. CAUSTON (Southwark, W.)
said, he desired to ask the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for the Home Office (Mr. Stuart-Wortley) a question with regard to an item which appeared on page 150—namely, that of Extra Receipts paid into the Exchequer as the proceeds of mat-making. He had on former occasions asked for information, for Returns, and also for a Select Committee to inquire into this subject, but he regretted to say that he had not received satisfaction on any one of those points. On one occasion the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department said that he declined to comply with the request, because the prison authorities had considerable objection to publish the details asked for. When the Prisons Act of 1877 was passed, which dealt with the question of prison manufacture, a clause was inserted to prevent unfair competition with outside trade, while due regard was to be paid to the maintenance of the penal character of prison discipline. He had been unable to obtain from Her Majesty's Government any information, and he was, therefore, obliged to place before the Committee the information which he himself possessed. He was informed by those engaged in the trade that the labour in risons was let to contractors, who sent in their own materials, and that the goods were placed on the market in competition with other manufacturers, the goods being sold at prices representing a trifle more than the cost of production. He was told that the prices paid by contractors for prison labour would average no more than £3 per man per annum, and that there was an undue proportion of prison labour employed in mat-making. He would point out that the men engaged in mat-making had a real grievance; their trade was very bad, and the complaint was that those engaged in it were suffering from the competition of prison manufacture. As he had shown, it was the intention of the Act passed in 1877 that this unfair competition should not take place. He hoped that evening to obtain some information from the Government, 1291 and a promise of an announcement, in a short time, that the unfair competition which undoubtedly did exist should not be allowed to continue.
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. STUART-WORTLEY) (Sheffield, Hallam)
said, with reference to the general question of prison labour, there would, of course, be a grievance if they were to employ a large number of prisoners in any particular manufacture, because it would tend seriously to create disturbances in trade. Ten years ago there were about 3,000 prisoners employed in mat-making; whereas at the present moment there were, according to the Return, less than half that number, or 1,472, the Government having greatly reduced the number employed. He could assure the hon. Member that reductions in this respect were made wherever it was possible to do so, but it was necessary to find varied forms of employment for prisoners of all classes. It must be remembered that there was now only the small number he had mentioned of prisoners engaged in mat-making, out of 20,000 prisoners, including convicts. Each prisoner was estimated to do one-fourth or one-fifth of the work of a free man; and, therefore, the whole amount of prison labour devoted to mat-making amounted to that of about 300 men only, which he did not think could have any appreciable effect upon the industry in question. Nor were all of these 1,472 engaged in making mats for sale to the public, for many of them were engaged in making for Government Departments. At one time when mat-making was first practised in prisons the number of private manufacturers was extremely small, and the comparatively large number of persons now engaged in the trade showed that it had grown up during the time when the competition of prison labour was, according to hon. Members, far more unfair than it was at present. As a matter of fact, then, the decrease of wages in the trade must be largely due to an increased number of producers coming into the market. Nor had that competition been developed in this country alone; because there were several foreign countries in which the mat-making industry had grown greatly, and which countries exported their goods to England. As he had said, it would be seen that the very 1292 small number of prisoners engaged in this industry could not produce that depreciating effect attributed to it. This had been obviously caused by other forms of competition. He was informed that it had happened more than once that Envoys had come over here, with high diplomatic credentials, for the purpose of studying the mat-making processes in our prisons, with a view to introducing it into the prisons in their own countries. To a recent application of the kind the Home Office had opposed a steady refusal. So far as it was consistent with proper discipline and treatment of prisoners, the number engaged upon this work had been steadily reduced.
§ MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)
said, the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Stuart-Wortley) would pardon him for saying that his reply was not altogether of a satisfactory character. This had been, with a large number of persons, a fixed and sore question during the last 20 years. From time to time Ministers of State had been approached by them with the view of getting their grievances redressed, and he could not think that the answer given to the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Southwark (Mr. Causton) was in any degree sufficient. It was laid down in the Prisons Act of 1877, in the most emphatic manner, that there should be no undue pressure or competition with any particular trade or industry; but there had been undue competition owing to the fact, stated over and again, that the Government competed with honest industry, the result of which was that a very serious reduction had taken place in the wages of those engaged in the industry of mat-making. This had, as he had already pointed out, been a subject of complaint during 20 years, and the sufferers had never been able to get any real redress, notwithstanding the reiterated applications made to various Governments. It seemed to him that a remedy was to be found in the issue of specific instructions that no goods manufactured in prisons should be sold at less than market prices. That, he believed, was as far as they could go in redressing the grievance of which complaint was made; and he thought that if the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary would give a pledge that the provisions of the Prisons Acts of 1877 1293 should be carried out in spirit and in letter, no more would be heard on this difficulty with regard to the mat-making industry. It was not only the operatives who suffered severely from this undue competition—the manufacturers were also injured. It seemed to him (Mr. Cremer) that at a time when the Government had appointed a Committee to inquire into the sweating system in the Metropolis and elsewhere, it was a most anomalous spectacle to find them engaged in this work. For the sake of good example to the community, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would see that positive instructions should be issued that the goods made in prisons and workhouses should not be sold below market prices.
§ MR. BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)
said, he sympathized very strongly with the mat-making industry and the wood-choppers of the Metropolis, but he trusted the Government would not, in response to this complaint, for a moment pledge themselves to reduce the amount of productive labour put into the hands of prisoners. Those who were not directly affected by the competition of prison labour were, nevertheless, interested in this matter, because they had to pay for the cost of maintenance of prisoners in gaol, and if they were put on productive employment they would cost less than they did when engaged in useless work. There was more in this question, however, than he had stated, because if they put a man upon unproductive labour they did not make him any fonder of work than he was when he went into prison; whereas, if they taught him a trade which he could exercise when he came out, he was much less likely to go back to prison. He had heard recently of a very interesting plan pursued by the Italian Government. They had made it a rule, with regard to women convicts, that a certain firm which worked for the Government in the manufacture of lace should give employment to nearly 300 prisoners in lace-making. These were paid for at the rate of 2½d. a-day each, of which 1½d. was kept for the female convicts employed, and it was found that women in this way would earn 200 or 300 francs on the average, while the contractors undertook to give them employment when they came out of prison at the rate of 1294 7½d. a-day. The most interesting part of the story was that not 2 per cent of these women went back to prison, and, therefore, he recommended the Government to increase, rather than diminish, the amount of reproductive labour put into the hands of prisoners.
§ MR. HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N.E.)
said, the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Stuart-Wortley) seemed to have missed entirely the point raised by the hon. Member for West Southwark (Mr. Causton). He had placed before the House the view that, having undertaken to reduce the number of persons engaged in mat-making, the Government were thereby endeavouring to meet the difficulty, but that was not the case. The great thing was to prevent prison labour coming into competition with any other labour, and the complaint of the firewood choppers was not so much that the wood was chopped in the workhouse, as that it was afterwards sold under the market price. Now with regard to mat-making the case was serious, because the Government had set up machinery by which mats could be produced at a much cheaper rate than by the manufacturers, and this had had the effect not only of their keeping on a smaller number of men, but, at the same time, of reducing wages, and in this way the prison system acted quite as prejudicially to the manufacturers as to the mat-makers themselves. He sympathized with the hon. Gentleman with regard to the difficulties surrounding this matter, still he thought those difficulties could be surmounted if they would always keep before their minds the fact that in no case should the goods produced in prisons, workhouses, or any other Government establishments, be allowed to undersell the productions of free labour. If the Government undertook to look into this matter and deal with it in some way or other, he felt sure that free labour would be able to hold its own in the market.
§ MR. J. ROWLANDS (Finsbury, E.)
said, he desired to impress on the Representatives of the Home Office the view taken by his hon. Friend. The question was of much greater importance than they seemed to think. If he had caught the figures rightly, the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department said there were 1,400 1295 men employed, with the aid of machinery, in the industry of mat-making. This would show at once that the output of these men must be very large indeed, and must seriously affect the outside trade. With regard to the information which the hon. Gentleman thought it right to withhold from the House—namely, the price paid by the manufacturers who had material made up in prisons, he was at a loss to understand why the price paid should not be known to the Committee. The price given in every trade for having work done was perfectly well known to everyone engaged in particular industries, and why there should be any secrecy about the price paid for prison labour, as he had said, he could not understand. None of them were opposed to the principle laid down by the hon. Member for Northwich (Mr. Brunner) with regard to making the time of prisoners as valuable as possible. They were as anxious as he that the best should be done with their time, so that these unfortunate persons might be able to earn their living when they left prison, but they did not want unjust competition with free labour.
§ MR. CAUSTON
said, that one of the difficulties which the Government had to contend with was that they encouraged outside people to send in material to be manufactured. He believed that if this plan were discontinued, and the Government made up their own materials, the goods being sold at market prices, there would be an end of the difficulty. Of course, manufacturers were only too glad to get the labour for next to nothing, instead of paying men £1 and upwards per week. He thought he was right in saying that no other materials of outside people were sent in to be made up than those used in mat-making.
§ MR. STUART-WORTLEY
said, he could not possibly make the promise asked for by the hon. Member who had just sat down. He fully agreed that all should be done to get the best price for prison labour; but he did not think that the price now obtained undersold the market.
§ MR. HOWELL
said, he did not think the hon. Gentleman could have looked into this question. Deputations of manufacturers, mat-makers, and working men had waited on the Home Secretary over and over again during the last 25 years; and he had himself, when Secre- 1296 tary to a Parliamentary Committee brought before the Office deputations from these men, pointing out how unfair the Government practice was towards the trade. This could hardly have taken place were it not that there existed a real grievance. The contention had always been that the mats made in prisons came into unfair competition with those in the open market. He did not think it feasible that the manufacturers and men would have spent their money, time, and labour upon these deputations if this question were merely a sentimental one. The fact remained that prison manufactured goods did, and were, coming into competition with the productions of free labour. As to the small price charged for the labour in making up materials, that was a concession to the manufacturers which enabled them to undersell the trade in the open market. He had no wish to detain the House on this matter. All that he wanted was a recognition on the part of Her Majesty's Government of the injustice done to the trade by underselling. He acknowledged the great difficulties experienced by the present and previous Governments in dealing with this question; but he trusted they would endeavour to see whether there was or not an actual grievance on the part of the men, and, if so, endeavour to redress it.
§ MR. DILLON
said, he rose to move that the Vote be reduced by the sum of £350 a-year, being the salary of the Medical Officer of Kirkdale Prison, Liverpool. He moved this reduction in order to direct the attention of the Committee to what seemed to him to be a very irregular and most objectionable proceeding recently adopted by the Head of the Irish Government. On a recent occasion he (Mr. Dillon) was visited in an Irish prison by a gentleman—he did not know whether he was right in calling him a gentleman, because he did what was always a very suspicious thing when one wished to be considered a gentleman—that was to say, he refused to give his name. That person came to the prison in a mysterious and sudden way, and he (Mr. Dillon) had asked him whether he attended the prison on behalf of the Government or not; but he refused to answer the question. He had asked him whether he was an official of the Government, and he had given him to understand that he was not. He (Mr. Dillon) asked that 1297 person who he was; but he would not say who he was, what he was, or where he came from. That person claimed the right to examine him (Mr. Dillon) medically, Well, he (Mr. Dillon) wanted to say, before he adverted to the practice of sending officials from English gaols over to Ireland to act as spies upon the officials in the Irish gaols, that that person, in his official relations with himself, had not acted the part of a gentleman. His conduct was insulting and offensive, though he might have known before he came into the prison that, though he (Mr. Dillon) had the misfortune to be an inmate of a prison, he was really not in a position which justified him in using treatment of an offensive and insulting character. That person must have known that he (Mr. Dillon) was a brother member of a profession which he did not honour himself, and in spite of that knowledge he was false to the traditions of an honourable profession, and took advantage of the opportunity which the engagement of his professional services by the Government afforded him to insult him (Mr. Dillon) and treat him as no gentleman would treat another. So much as to the personal action of that individual. That, as a matter of course, was a matter of very minor importance. What he (Mr. Dillon) wanted to know was, for what reason was that man sent over to Ireland to play the spy on the officials of the prison in which he (Mr. Dillon) was confined? He had made no complaint to the Government, or to anyone else, from the time he went to the prison to the time he left it. He had claimed no medical inspection. The gentleman who had charge of that prison was a gentleman—an Irishman and a gentleman—and in all his relations with him in that prison he had no fault to find with his treatment or conduct. The Government, therefore, could not honestly say—though the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant had made statements to that effect—that in sending this Medical Officer to Dundalk Prison he was anxious and solicitous for his (Mr. Dillon's) health. He had been perfectly satisfied himself—and, after all, he ought to be the best judge upon such a matter—with the attendance of the medical gentleman who had charge of the health of 1298 the prisoners in Dundalk Prison; and the right hon. Gentleman, therefore, had no ground to go upon. The Government were not anxious and solicitous for his health; and he could not imagine any other motive for the treatment to which he was subjected titan that the Government wanted to find out what the doctor in the gaol was doing, and to intimidate him lest he should be treating the prisoners too well. He (Mr. Dillon) maintained that it was a mean, cowardly, and low act to send an English official over for such a purpose. He contended, moreover, that it was a departure from precedent, and an insult to every Medical Officer in every prison in Ireland. If the Medical Officers in Irish gaols were competent men—if they were educated men, and fairly represented their profession, and were fit to take charge of prisoners in Irish prisons, they were fit to do it without being spied upon by an official of a prison in Liverpool. He submitted, however, that, as a matter of fact, the individual in question went over to Ireland for the purpose of brow-beating, spying upon, and intimidating the doctors of the Irish prisons, and that he endeavoured to carry out that object. What occurred when he came into the prison in which he (Mr. Dillon) was confined? Fortunately he (Mr. Dillon) had had some experience of that kind of thing before. When that individual came in, he asked him (Mr. Dillon) to allow him to inspect him, saying that he wished to examine him medically. He refused to allow the individual to examine him. Had that person been a gentleman, or had his object been simply to do that which was professed to be his purpose by the Head of the Irish Government, he (Mr. Dillon) would simply then have quitted the room, and there would then have been an end of the matter. But he did nothing of the sort. He proceeded to cross-examine him (Mr. Dillon) in a hostile spirit as to the condition of his health, though he (Mr. Dillon) repeatedly told him that he had no complaint to make, either as to his health or as to his treatment. He plainly intimated that he (Mr. Dillon) was a malingerer, and had no right to be in the infirmary at all—a place, let it be remembered, in which he had never asked to be put. That individual, plainly exhibiting the spirit of the in- 1299 structions which he had received by the questions he put, conveyed to his (Mr. Dillon's) mind a clear impression that his object was to prove that he (Mr. Dillon) was pretending to be ill when he was not. He need hardly point out that in that case, besides the offensive character of the man's proceedings, no shred or shadow of excuse could be found for such a course of conduct, as the facts of the case were that from the day he (Mr. Dillon) entered the prison to the day he left it he never made the slightest reference to his health, unless in answer to the questions of the Medical Officer; and yet that individual came to the prison, cross-examined him in the most insulting way, and clearly suggested to him that he was malingering. Surely that was a very bad precedent. Surely that was an irregular proceeding, and a gross insult to the Medical Officers of the Irish prisons and to the Medical Profession in the City of Dublin. What had been stated in that House that day? He (Mr. Dillon) was informed that when a question was put to the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary as to why he sent that English official over to inspect prisoners in Irish prisons, the reply of the right hon. Gentleman was that he was so solicitous for the health of the prisoners that he was bound to send over the best Medical Officer he could to see how they were getting on. Were they to be told that the City of Dublin, and the whole of Ireland, contained no medical man honourable and skilful enough to satisfy the right hon. Gentleman upon that point, and that he was compelled of necessity to go to Kirkdale Prison in Liverpool for a Medical Officer? He maintained that it was a bad precedent, both in reference to the Medical Officers of the prisons in Ireland and the Medical Profession in Ireland generally. But he doubted very much whether he should have raised the question simply on the personal ground that that man did not know how to act as a gentleman, and that he dealt with him (Mr. Dillon) in a manner unmistakeably to suggest that he had been sent to the gaol to treat him as an ordinary pickpocket and a criminal and not as a gentleman. He did not know that he should have raised the question had it not been that a precedent was involved, and that the treatment or mal-treatment of hundreds of 1300 his countrymen in Ireland was a mistake. It was an undoubted fact that in many of the Irish prisons—though he regretted to say not in all of them, but in many of them—the cruelty and brutality of seeking to treat political prisoners as ordinary prisoners was mitigated, to some extent, by the gentlemanly feeling, kindness, and humanity of the officials. He raised this question because he thought it was a monstrous and outrageous piece of meanness and cruelty that where an official was inclined, so far as he dared do it, to mitigate the rigour of the Rules in those prisons against men with whom in his heart of hearts he deeply sympathized—for he believed that many of the officials, if they dared to express their views, would say they sympathized with the political prisoners—he should be subjected to insult and offensive intimidation on the part of such individuals as that Medical Officer from Kirkdale Gaol. It was a monstrous thing that Irish prison officials should be intimidated for attempting, in the smallest degree, to carry out the Rules of the prisons with humanity. It was because he considered it such a monstrous thing that he looked upon the question as of sufficient importance to bring it under the notice of the Committee. That, again, affected the position of hundreds of political friends of his who were now in gaol, and who would yet go to gaol. To mark his sense of the whole of the proceedings, as well as of the conduct of the individual in question, he moved that the Vote be reduced by the sum of £350.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item D, Pay and Allowances, be reduced by £350, in respect of the Medical Officer of Kirkdale Prison."—(Mr. Dillon.)
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
I hope that the Committee will have noticed the very singular views of prison discipline which have just fallen from the mouth of the hon. Gentleman the Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon). He appears to think that the proper way to carry on prison discipline in Ireland—and, I suppose, in England too—is, that each prison official should form his own estimate of the guilt or innocence of 1301 the various prisoners committed to his charge; and when he happens to sympathize—if he ever does sympathize, which I very much doubt—with the offence for which a prisoner is put in prison, he is to break through the Regulations laid down by Parliament, and, I suppose, by a parity of reasoning, if the official took a darker view of the crime than happens to be taken by the Court, then he is to take the other view, and, in the exercise of his discretion, increase and augment the severity of the punishment which the law allows to be inflicted. ["Hear, hear!" from the Irish Benches, and cries of, "That was Barr's object!"] That is the theory which the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon) has laid down as regulating prison discipline in Ireland.
§ MR. DILLON
I shall have an opportunity of replying by-and-bye, and, therefore, I will not interrupt the right hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The hon. Gentleman has attacked Dr. Barr's manner towards himself, and has said that Dr. Barr behaved in an ungentlemanly way. I know enough of Dr. Barr—[Ironical cheers from the Irish Members.] If hon. Members will control their excitement for one moment, they will better understand what I mean. I know enough of Dr. Barr—and what I know of him and how I know it I will explain directly—to know that the charge of the hon. Member, on the face of it, is an absurd one. My own personal knowledge of Dr. Barr was confined to one interview which I had with him in Dublin at the end of August last; and I must confess that, as far as one man can judge of another in one interview, and can make that a basis of the estimate of his character, I was favourably impressed by Dr. Barr's appearance, conduct, and conversation. But I am far, of course, from resting my estimate of Dr. Barr upon what happened then, or during the few minutes I conversed with him. Dr. Barr has other titles to the consideration and respect of this House. Hon. Gentlemen are in the habit of talking as if I had selected Dr. Barr myself from a knowledge that I possessed that he was endowed with those qualities of unscrupulousness and brutality, which would make him a fit instrument of a 1302 brutal and unscrupulous Government. [Irish cheers.] I see I have adequately represented the ideas of hon. Members opposite. Unfortunately, as so often happens with the allegations of hon. Gentlemen opposite, there is not a shadow of foundation for the charge. I never heard of Dr. Barr until he was selected by the English Prisons Board—when through my right hon. Friend near me (Mr. Matthews)—[Renewed Irish cheers.]—[An hon. MEMBER: It is all coming out now!]—I requested the Prisons Board to select a man of high character and qualifications to carry out the work, the object of which I will presently describe. The Prisons Board—as was explained to the Government by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone)—acting independently of the Executive, chose this gentleman as a man amongst their subordinates of especially high character and qualifications, and it was because they so chose him, and only because they so chose him, that I made use of his services in Ireland. Dr. Barr is a gentleman—I believe a Northern Irishman by birth—[Dr. TANNER: An Orangeman too!]—he was educated in Glasgow, and in Glasgow won not only the respect of all those who were capable of judging of his medical qualifications, but also the respect and affection of all those who judged of him personally. The high character which he thus honourably won in Glasgow he fully maintained, and more than maintained, in Liverpool. Dr. Barr was universally known—and I trust is still known—in every part of the country where people still retain the capacity of judging of Nationalist criticisms upon Irish officials, in the favourable manner I have described to the Committee. Now, I told the Committee that I would inform them what was the object for which I asked the Prisons Board of England to supply me with an able and capable officer. The hon. Member for East Mayo appears to think that it was to screw up to an undue pitch of severity the Prison Rules which are applicable to Irish prisons. It was nothing of the kind. I was perfectly aware that, as hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway opposite had attacked most virulently, and with little scrupulousness, the Administration of right hon. Gentlemen opposite when they had to deal with Ireland—I was 1303 perfectly aware that I was not likely to fare better in the hands of the hon. Member and his Friends, and that the prison officials in Ireland were not likely to fare better at their hands. I desired, therefore, to obtain an undoubted independent testimony—[An hon. MEMBER: So you got an Orangeman!]—some proof that Irish prison discipline did not differ from English discipline in its practice, or that, at all events, if it did differ, it did not differ in any manner unfavourable to the prisoner. That was my first object, and I think it was a proper and humane object; but I frankly admit that it was not my only object. Though we had not at that time the painful, and even horrible, evidence that has since come out, I was aware that every official in Ireland in any way dependent on Nationalist surroundings would be the subject of the most savage and unscrupulous persecution if he ventured in any way to do his duty; and I thought it was only due to these men, marked out beforehand for calumnious attacks, that they should have behind them to direct them a man who, because he was an Englishman by residence and the servant of an English Board, and not of an Irish Board, and because he did not depend on the favour of the Nationalist Organization, would, at all events, have no hesitation in telling the truth when he liked, where he liked, and how he liked. It was for that reason, as well as for the other reason which I have submitted to the Committee, that I asked the English Prisons Board to lend me the services of Dr. Barr; and most fortunate was it, in the interests of truth and in the interests of justice, that that course was pursued, because it was through the independent and indubitable testimony of Dr. Barr that we have been able to expose and bring to light the foul conspiracy of which the unhappy Dr. Ridley was the victim. [An hon. MEMBER: Your victim!] I think I have said enough to show that I was justified, before I made the appointment, by the general considerations which affected the Irish Government, and the circumstances which have happened since the appointment have amply, and more than amply, justified the course I then purued.
§ MR. T. C. HARRINGTON (Dublin Harbour)
said, he thought they had 1304 reason to be thankful to the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland for the speech he had just delivered. For months past the right hon. Gentleman had been going through the country proclaiming that his object in sending Dr. Barr to visit prisons was to look after the safety of the prisoners of Ireland. That night, however, the right hon. Gentleman had come out in his true colours, and, as plain as words could express it, he had given the Committee to understand that the object with which he had sent Dr. Barr to Ireland to visit the prisons was to intimidate the officials in those prisons, and to add persecution to the infamy of imprisonment which he had already inflicted upon men more honourable than himself. The right hon. Gentleman had plainly avowed his object, and the statements which had been made about Dr. Barr, and which had been written in the Irish newspapers, had been amply justified by the speech of the Chief Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman probably thought he would be supported in this country in the statement that it was a proper thing to see that prison discipline in Ireland was maintained in the same manner as prison discipline in England. Well, those who know the prison system of both countries must know well enough that it was impossible for any set of officials to carry out the prison treatment in the one country and the other equally with all men. There were hundreds of instances in which they had to make allowances for one man's constitution and habits. Every Commission which had sat to consider the subject had gone on the principle of making some distinction between the treatment of certain classes of prisoners. Did the right hon. Gentleman remember the evidence given by the English Inspectors before the Commission on Irish Prisons, to the effect that prison officials were instructed to examine the condition of the prisoners in order to see when it was necessary that the ordinary Rules should be relaxed rather than that the health of a person confined in gaol should be broken? Rather, however, than that Regulation should be carried out in a humane spirit, they saw this emissary of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, Dr. Barr, sent over to Ireland in order to prevent the Irish 1305 prison officials from exercising their discretion and adopting a humane system, and in order to see that the treatment of Irish prisoners was such a treatment as would please the right hon. Gentleman. As to the statement that the object with which Dr. Barr was sent out was a humane one, he (Mr. T. C. Harrington) should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he could point to a single instance in which Dr. Barr's mission had resulted in the removal of a prisoner from a bad cell to a good one, or in a beneficial alteration of the dietary? No; Dr. Barr had gone to Ireland, well knowing his mission and the work expected from him, and he had reported regularly to the right hon. Gentleman. He had reported not only in the one conversation which the right hon. Gentleman said he had had with him, but he reported regularly the result of his mission. Now, as to one portion of Dr. Barr's action in Ireland at the present time, they had nothing to say, although they expected at some futurer Sitting of the House to be able to bring under discussion his conduct; but he (Mr. T. C. Harrington) denied that the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary had at all removed from himself the responsibility of the appointment of this individual by saying that he relied on the discretion—the tried discretion and well-known experience—of his Colleague the Home Secretary in making the selection. If the right hon. Gentleman had no better defence to make than that he relied upon the skill of his Colleague, that was not a defence which was likely to be considered satisfactory. What was the real object for which Dr. Barr had been selected; what were the reasons which the right hon. Gentleman gave to the Prisons Board? What kind of official did the right hon. Gentleman tell them he wanted? Those were the points upon which the right hon. Gentleman should vindicate his conduct; those were the points from which he should remove from himself, if possible, the culpability which undoubtedly attached to Dr. Barr in his treatment of Irish prisoners. Beyond all manner of doubt Dr. Barr's visit to the Irish prisons had struck terror into every Irish prison which he entered. The officials in the Irish prisons used to speak of him as "the unknown medical man." The 1306 right hon. Gentleman himself could not visit the Irish prisons, and being anxious that no leniency, no mercy, should be shown to the men in prison under his system, he selected a fitting instrument to carry out his object—one who anticipated his wishes and was willing to carry them out.
§ MR. DILLON
said, he had heard with astonishment the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland say to the Committee that he had employed Dr. Barr because he was an Englishman, and a servant of an English Board, and dared to speak the truth under all circumstances. Those were two very extraordinary propositions. Of course, the insinuation conveyed was that if he were an Irishman he would not speak the truth. But the extraordinary part of that was that Dr. Barr, as a matter of fact, was not an Englishman, but a well-known Orangeman from the North of Ireland, a hanger-on, a protégé of the Hamilton interest, which was so strongly represented in the Government. It was a curious coincidence that although the Committee had been told by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary that he knew nothing of this great English official, that his chief claim to be sent upon this mission was because he was an Englishman and would speak the truth, he was the son of one of the chief leaders of an Orange Lodge, a tenant of the Duke of Abercorn's, a creature of the chief prop of the landlords in Ireland. This was the impartial and open-minded Englishman who was sent over to the Irish prisons for the deliberate purpose of insulting the Irish Party when they were being treated as common prisoners in Ireland; and the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary would have the Committee to believe that the man was sent over because no Irishman would tell the truth. He (Mr. Dillon) wished to goodness the right hon. Gentleman himself would always tell the truth. [Cries of "Order, order!"]
§ MR. DILLON
said, he did so. He did so unhesitatingly—and was about to qualify the statement. He was about to say, when he was interrupted by the Chairman, that he made no accusations of deliberate untruth against the right hon. Gentleman, but wished to convey that 1307 he would not take the pains to ascertain the truth of the representations made to him upon which he founded his remarks in that House. He challenged the right hon. Gentleman to get up and repeat his statement as to Dr. Barr being an Englishman.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I think that anyone who heard my speech will admit that the hon. Gentleman has given a version of it which bears not a shadow of resemblance to the original. What I said was that Dr. Barr was a native of the North of Ireland, that he was educated in Glasgow, and that he is practising at Liverpool—I gave his whole biography. The hon. Gentleman accredits me with casting an aspersion upon the Irish officials which I had no desire to cast upon them. What I had desired to convey was, that Irish prison officials living in country districts were to some extent dependent upon Nationalist surroundings——
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
And my desire was that a man should be selected for the work who would not be open to intimidation. That was all I said.
§ MR. DILLON
said, that a more unfortunate charge could not be made. The right hon. Gentleman denied that the father of this man was a tenant of the Duke of Abercorn.
§ MR. DILLON
said, that at any rate he had found out that fact. Dr. Barr had admitted that he was a prominent leading member of one Conservative Committee in a district, he believed, represented by one of the Hamilton family, and he (Mr. Dillon) maintained that, under the circumstances, a more unhappy selection could not have been made to send upon such a delicate mission to the Irish prisons, and to place in the position of being able to insult and outrage the feelings of Irish gentlemen. With reference to the personal statement he (Mr. Dillon) had made on this subject, he wished to point out the ridiculously inadequate answer made by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief secretary. When he (Mr. Dillon) had said, as a matter of fact, that this individual was ungentlemanly in his conduct towards him, and that his 1308 manner was most offensive, the right hon. Gentleman only replied that the charge was an unfounded one. On what ground did the right hon. Gentleman say this? Why, on the ground that Dr. Barr had interviewed him in Dublin Castle, and that nothing could be more courteous than his conduct.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I expressly stated—I believe I said it twice—that I did not rest my estimate of Dr. Barr on one short interview. Surely the hon. Gentleman ought not to get up in the House and say that my only ground for what I said was my one interview with this gentleman.
§ MR. DILLON
said, he would give the right hon. Gentleman credit for as many interviews as he liked, but his experience of men who were extremely insolent when they were in authority was that very often they were the most servile in the presence of superiors. It was no proof that a prison medical officer would treat the prisoners with civility and humanity merely because he was cringing and servile to the right hon. Gentleman. No one knew what had taken place at the interview between Dr. Barr and himself (Mr. Dillon) but themselves, and the only report the right hon. Gentleman could have received with regard to it until to-night was from Dr. Barr. He should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he had instructed Dr. Barr to refuse to give his name? If he did, it was an extraordinary proceeding, but if he did not, the fact that Dr. Barr refused to disclose his name when it was asked for showed that he was a coward, and not the courageous, truthful man that the right hon. Gentleman described. He maintained that the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, in his reply that night, was not a fair one, so far as it was descriptive of what had fallen from him (Mr. Dillon) as to the treatment of the prisoners by Irish prison officials. He had not led anyone to believe that he considered that the officials in Ireland should modify their treatment of prisoners according to their conception of the criminality of those prisoners. What he had said was what everybody who had any experience of the enforcement of Prison Rules knew perfectly well—namely, that prison officials could make an enormous difference in the sufferings of the prisoners without transgressing 1309 any of the Prison Rules at all. What he had meant to say was, that where they had to deal with the lowest and most criminal classes, who were probably very often found malingering—such men as Dr. Barr was likely to have to deal with in the Kirkdale Infirmary of Liverpool—classes which he was probably well fitted to deal with—the Rules of the prison might be administered by the prison officials in a different spirit to that which should actuate them in dealing with political prisoners, such as there were now in the gaols of Ireland. These political prisoners were perfectly orderly, and in every case honourable men, against whom in no instance could a case of malingering be alleged. He submitted that a medical man who approached such men in the same spirit as he would approach the refuse in the streets of Liverpool was false to his duties. There was an immense difference being treated as though you were a gentleman, and an honest man, even when it was necessary to observe certain Prison Rules, and being treated as though you were the scum of the streets who had to be watched in order to prevent your malingering or breaking the Rules of the prison. The prison official, without over-stepping the Prison Rules, could, if he chose, make the treatment of a prisoner a perfect hell; and his (Mr. Dillon's) charge—and it was a charge which the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary did not traverse—was that Dr. Barr was sent over to see that Irish political prisoners were treated in the same way as pickpockets, and nightwalkers, and the perpetrators of scandalous offences were treated in the gaols of Liverpool. What was the highest qualification of a surgeon? Why, he (Mr. Dillon) was a surgeon himself, and had had a large acquaintance amongst Army surgeons, and was, therefore, in a position to say that the highest qualification of a surgeon was to be able to detect an injury. Well, the great reputation of Dr. Barr might be built up on the fact that he was a successful detector of malingering in the prisons of Liverpool. Had he gone over to Ireland to examine into those cases where he saw the Prison Rules administered with humanity, to find out if anyone was malingering? The political prisoners in Ireland were not malingerers. Whether their cause 1310 were right or wrong, it was, at any rate, attended in an honourable spirit, and to have a man like their enlightened Chief Secretary and Governor sending over a medical practitioner to Ireland to grind Irish political prisoners down to the level of the lowest prisoners in England, was, he maintained, a disgusting, mean, and cowardly act. He wanted to know who paid the expenses of Dr. Barr? The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary had told them that one of his great objects was to protect the officials of the Irish prisons and of his own Government against the calumnious charges which the Irish Members were in the habit of making. Was there no man in Ireland amongst all the members of the medical and surgical professions who, according to Ministers opposite, were nearly all Unionists, skilful enough and courageous enough to afford this protection to the right hon. Gentleman? Could the right hon. Gentleman not obtain anyone from amongst the doctors in Dublin to carry out this inspection? Why should the right hon. Gentleman cross the Channel for a doctor? He asked, where was the bill of expenses for Dr. Barr's frequent excursions to Ireland? Did Dr. Barr get fees for these excursions, or was he sent across at his ordinary pay on the English Establishment? He desired to know why a Dublin medical man was not engaged? If the object of the Government was to protect themselves by independent testimony, why did they not get independent testimony? The first question he had put to Dr. Barr when he came into Dundalk gaol was, "Are you an English official?" but he would not answer, like the coward he was. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary had sent to Ireland an official whom he could strike out of his place to-morrow if he displeased the Government. Surely, then, he was not an independent witness, and could not be regarded as a protection to the Government. He was an official witness, who went to Ireland with a brief, and who would consider that he had discharged his duty to his employers and paymasters when he made such a report as they could easily gather the nature of from the right hon. Gentleman whilst he was making his speech. No doubt the right hon. Gentleman and Dr. Barr had parted mutual friends. If this was 1311 the idea of the right hon. Gentleman about independent testimony for the purpose of protecting Government officials and the Government, all he (Mr. Dillon) could say was that his idea was entirely different. They ought to get a different statement from the right hon. Gentleman as to why this official was selected, as to who paid him, and as to why an independent medical man from Dublin was not selected.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
As I wished to compare the Irish practice with the English practice, it was absolutely necessary to employ anyone who was familiar with the English practice, and the only person familiar with the English practice that I could obtain was an English prison official. With regard to the expenses of Dr. Barr's mission, they do not fall under this Vote; and as to what the hon. Member said about Dr. Barr's not giving his name, I must say, in the first place, I am surprised and rather disgusted that the hon. Gentleman should accuse Dr. Barr of cowardliness, Dr. Barr not being here to answer for himself. I have no special information about it, but I am told that Dr. Barr did not give his name because it is not customary for prison officials, when they go to examine prisoners, to allow themselves to be cross-examined by those prisoners, either to answer questions or to give their names. I do not think there is anything so over-poweringly formidable in the hon. Gentleman that Dr. Barr should be accused of cowardliness.
§ DR. CLARK
said, he intervened in this debate because he happened to know Dr. Barr, having for several years sat side by side with him in the Glasgow University, and from his knowledge of that gentleman, therefore, he had to say that he did not think the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary was warranted in the statement he had made by the facts. The right hon. Gentleman asserted, in the first place, that Dr. Barr was very highly qualified, and that was using an adjective which the facts did not permit him to use. Dr. Barr had the most ordinary qualifications that a man could have. He was a graduate of Glasgow University, and a Licentiate—not a Fellow—of the College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. That was not the highest qualification, for the highest qualification would be to become 1312 a Fellow of his College, which Dr. Barr was not. Glasgow University did not stand so high as Edinburgh, and Dr. Barr was not a bright student even there; in fact, he was a very dull student, and if the right hon. Gentleman would consult the Calendar of the University, which was published year by year, he would soon find whether the information which had been supplied to him was correct or not. He would find that Dr. Barr, as a matter of fact, was a very common-place person indeed. The Dr. Barr pictured by the right hon. Gentleman was, he assured the Committee, a very different person to the real Dr. Barr, with whom he was acquainted. As to Dr. Barr's position as a surgeon, he (Dr. Clark) should support the reduction which had been moved, because he thought Dr. Barr was an individual who was not an honour to his Profession. He would support the Amendment, because he thought Dr. Barr ought not to have charge of the unfortunate prisoners in Liverpool Prison. Fortunately, Liverpool Gaol was a place where they would be likely to have an assistant surgeon, who would do most of the work; but, whether or no, he thought Dr. Barr was a person who ought no longer to be permitted to be in the prison service. The theories he held, and his practice, was a disgrace to any practitioner, and, looking at the circumstances of this case generally, he should say that Dr. Barr was about the worst man who could have been sent to Ireland to inspect the Irish prisons. There was a medical member of the Prisons Board, who ought to have been asked to do the work. If it was the fact that there was no one so well qualified as Dr. Barr, amongst English prison surgeons, to perform the Chief Secretary's mission, then, unfortunately, in this country they had no well-qualified man at all upon their staff. He considered Dr. Barr a disgrace to his Profession, and he should therefore vote to cut off his salary, holding him to be a thoroughly heartless man, deserving the utmost contempt. [A laugh.] He saw the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary laughing. Perhaps Dr. Barr was a man after his own heart. The right hon. Gentleman had made a statement with his usual inaccuracy, and he (Dr. Clark) was very sorry to see that any man who had sat side by side with him in the University of Glasgow should have 1313 allowed himself to become the tool of the present Chief Secretary for Ireland.
§ MR. E. ROBERTSON (Dundee)
said, he was not acquainted with Dr. Barr, but the answer of the Government was of such a character that he felt compelled to vote for the Amendment of the hon. Member for East Mayo. The real question—which appeared to have been lost sight of—was, that a charge had been made against this official of having been guilty of conduct described as insulting, rude, offensive, and ungentlemanly, towards a prisoner in an Irish prison. But that was not all. The charge was made by a Member of this House, a Colleague of the right hon. Gentleman, a man who, according to the best traditions of this House, was entitled to have his word accepted as true. He (Mr. E. Robertson) did not ask him to condemn Dr. Barr behind his back; but what he contended was, that the right hon. Gentleman was bound to treat the question as an open one, and not to foreclose the question against the hon. Member for East Mayo, saying that because he had a good report from Dr. Barr, and Dr. Barr had created a good impression on him in the short interview he had had with him, that, therefore, the statement of the hon. Member for East Mayo could not be relied upon. He (Mr. E. Robertson) declined to accept that as a sufficient answer.
§ DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)
said, he had listened to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland, and had been impressed with the singular heat which the right hon. Gentleman had thrown into the controversy. It seemed as if the cap which was being made for Dr. Barr exactly fitted the right hon. Gentleman himself. He (Dr. Tanner) could not help noticing, in looking over the list of the various medical officers attached to the prison establishments of England, this rather extraordinary fact—that the medical officer selected for duties of such a very delicate nature was really a medical officer belonging to the second class. All the medical officers of the first class were passed over, and one of the second class was chosen. Now, he (Dr. Tanner) did not intend to enter into the controversy which was initiated by his hon. Friend (Dr. Clark) as to the medical qualifica- 1314 tions of Dr. Barr. His medical qualifications might be good. It did not always follow that because a man happened to be a Licentiate and not a Fellow, that, therefore, he was not well qualified. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary was laughing as usual—just as Dr. Barr laughed when he had seen his victims—but this did not seem to him (Dr. Tanner) as a laughing matter, however much it suited the risibility of the right hon. Gentleman. He did not think the people of England would look upon it in that light. Not only was Dr. Barr a medical officer of the second class, but it was rather interesting, so far as this question was concerned, to note the statistics relating to the health of the prisoners in Kirkdale Gaol. In proportion to the number of inmates in the gaol there were more men on the sick list of the hospital than in any other prison in England. They would imagine that the responsible medical officer looking after the welfare of these unfortunate prisoners would notice the fact of the large amount of sickness, and endeavour in some way or other to explain it. But that was not the case with Dr. Barr. They found in the general report of Kirkdale Prison the statement that the medical officer had reported that "The health of the prisoners has been very satisfactory." The right hon. Gentleman opposite was laughing again, but soon he (Dr. Tanner) would give him some figures which would, perhaps, convince him. The daily average of male prisoners in Kirkdale Gaol was 403, and the total number of cases of illness treated in the hospital during the year was 236. Compare these figures with those of other gaols. In Durham Gaol the total number of males was 308, and the number of cases in hospital 129. In Birmingham the number of males was 307, while the number of cases in hospital was 164; and in Millbank Prison, whilst the average number of males was 391, the hospital cases were only 94. It appeared, therefore, rather extraordinary that some inquiry had not been made into the sanitary condition of Kirkdale Gaol. Another thing he should like to call attention to was that during the absence of Dr. Barr—this bar sinister—in Ireland, the only fatal case that took place during the year occurred. The right hon. Gentleman was again laugh- 1315 ing—he always had a smile for any statement concerning deaths, misfortunes, or illnesses. It might suit the right hon. Gentleman to laugh, but he did not think that anyone endowed with the commonest feelings of humanity would be inclined to follow suit. The Committee were entitled to some explanation as to the sanitary state of affairs in Kirkdale Prison. He should like to know why, during the past year, in that gaol, there had been no fewer than four cases of pulmonary diseases of a serious character? Then there had been two cases of phthisis, and two cases of acute tuberculosis. Every medical man knew that a gaol was not a likely place for such a disease as consumption, notably when there was no trace of the disease in the prisoner on admission. He hoped that there would be some medical investigation into the circumstances he had recounted, so that the country might see whether Dr. Barr had been doing his duty as a medical man in the Kirkdale Infirmary. The state of affairs appeared to him to be uncommonly bad; but that, perhaps, could be explained, because Dr. Barr had been withdrawn from his duty in the Kirkdale Hospital, and called upon to do duty elsewhere. It had been suggested that Dr. Barr had an assistant surgeon, but there was no item for an assistant surgeon at the Kirkdale Hospital. If Dr. Barr was taken away from his duties in the Kirkdale Prison someone must have been there to do his duty. It was perfectly plain that medical men, who were always the most charitable people in the world, frequently, free of expense, discharged another man's duties; but, after what they had heard to-night of Dr. Barr, it seemed to him that it would be less difficult for him to get anybody to perform the duties of locum tenens than for another medical man. If he had anyone to perform his duty while away, why were the Committee not shown what sum of money was paid to the locum, tenens? He was surprised the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary should laugh and sneer over the sad circumstances which had been brought to light. Investigation into the circumstances was urgently demanded; something should be done for the benefit of the people who were incarcerated in the Kirkdale Gaol; at any rate, they ought to be supplied with a 1316 qualified and efficient medical officer—with a humane medical officer—not one who considered it his duty to grovel at the feet of men who were in power, and to insult the unfortunate persons who might be committed to his care. He (Dr. Tanner) hoped that, in due time, the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland might put off that savage and insulting manner which characterized Dr. Barr.
§ Notice taken that 40 Members were not present; Committee counted, and 40 Members being found present,
§ MR. GILL (Louth, S.)
said, he did not intend to speak on the merits of prison treatment generally under the present Coercion Act, because on a future occasion a debate would take place covering the whole question. What he wanted to point out was that they had not had from the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary a distinct statement as to the reason why Dr. Barr was sent to Ireland at all. There had been several suggestions, not definite statements, as to the object of his visit. One suggestion was that Dr. Barr was to make a report, the object of which would be the assimilation of the Irish and the English methods of prison treatment. On what authority did the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary undertake to assimilate the prison rules of Ireland to the prison rules of England? There were a great many differences between the two systems of prison treatment, and he very much desired to know upon what authority the right hon. Gentleman undertook to send an emissary to Ireland for the purpose of seeing that those rules were made alike? On the other hand, if Dr. Barr went there for the purpose described, and the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary had very good authority for sending him there, why was not the system of prison treatment in Ireland modelled on every particular point upon the system in England? One of the chief differences between the Irish and the English system was that in England the Governor and the staff of a prison were left largely to their own discretion to interpret the letter of the prison rules. In England it was in the power of a prison Governor to modify, or to suspend, or to enforce, according to his own discretion, the 1317 rules that were laid down for the management of the prison; and in the Report of the recent Commission which inquired into the prison discipline of Ireland and England, approving reference was made more than once to this great distinction. It was pointed out that the Governor and the staff of a particular gaol acquired a knowledge of the peculiarities and the temperaments of the various prisoners under their control, which would suggest to them, in some instances, a modification of the prison rules, a knowledge which could not possibly be possessed by the Prisons Board at the centre or the capital of the country. In Ireland quite the opposite prevailed. There the Governor of a gaol could not——
§ MR. GILL
said, he was endeavouring to point out that if Dr. Barr was sent to Ireland, as the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary alleged, for the purpose of seeing that a system of treatment similar to that existing in English prisons was enforced in the Irish prisons, Dr. Barr did not see that in the case of the chief distinction between the two systems of treatment the English system was adopted in Ireland. The chief distinction was that discretion was allowed in England to Governors and staffs of prisons in the interpretation of the prison rules, and he was about to point out that in Ireland, after Dr. Barr's visit, the system of absolute irresponsibility of the prison staffs, and their incapacity to interpret the rules according to their own discretion, was more rigidly carried out than before. In fact, judging by results, the object of Dr. Bair's mission really was to see that the peculiarity or difference in the two systems was more firmly maintained than it had previously been. The Governor of one of the prisons in which the prisoners whom Dr. Barr was sent to visit were confined had to go up to Dublin and consult the Prisons Board, as he himself said, at a certain inquest in the country, in order to obtain their instructions as to how he was to interpret the prison rules under certain peculiar circumstances which had arisen. How was it that the chief distinction between the two systems had been increased, if anything, and not modified since Dr. Barr's visit? Dr. Barr was 1318 stated to be an English prison official of the highest rank, and his high qualifications were alleged by the right hon. Gentleman to be the reason why he was chosen for this very onerous and delicate mission. He (Mr. Gill) wished to emphasize the point made by his hon. Friend the Member for Mid Cork (Dr. Tanner)—namely, that Dr. Barr, instead of being an official in the English prisons of the very highest rank, was really a minor officer of the second and not of the first rank. That bold, solid, matter of fact, as seen from the Records of the Government, utterly demolished the theory set up by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, that Dr. Barr was chosen for this mission on account of his extremely high qualifications as a medical man. The hon. Member for Mid Cork also pointed out that in the prison which was in the medical charge of Dr. Barr—the Kirkdale Prison—the percentage of sickness was far higher than that of any other prison of the same size in England. The two facts proved that Dr. Barr, instead of being an official of the highest rank, was an official almost of the lowest rank in the whole prison system of England, and led many Members of the Committee to the conclusion that the reasons given from the Opposition side of the House for Dr. Barr's appointment were the true reasons—namely, that Dr. Barr was, as he proved himself to be at the inquest to which reference had been made, a rabid partizan of the Party of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, and a man among whose characteristics humanity, at any rate, was not the most prominent. This discussion had been very useful in bringing out these facts, which would be of some purpose in the debate which would be raised on the whole question of prison treatment in Ireland at a later period of Supply.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said that coercive Governments always had to use vile instruments. It was not for him at present to go into the whole question of what Dr. Barr did in Ireland, but when the time arrived there seemed no doubt he and his hon. Friends would be able to prove that Dr. Barr was the vilest in-instrument that the present Government ever used in Ireland, and that he was directly and immediately responsible for two deaths. [Cries of "Oh, oh!"] Hon. Gentlemen might say "Oh, oh!" 1319 just as much as they liked, but that was his opinion. He was perfectly aware that hon. Members had been round and about the country copying this Dr. Barr in abusing his victims, but they would find out that they would be answered in the House of Commons. ["Oh, oh!"] Hon. Gentleman might continue to say "Oh, oh!" and sneer as much as they liked. He noticed that the hon. Member for South Belfast (Mr. Johnston) appeared to disagree with him, but it was a matter of absolute indifference to him as to whether that hon. Gentleman or any other Orangeman disagreed with him or not. He trusted that in every word or thought the hon. Gentleman would always disagree with him; he should be utterly ashamed of himself if he found the hon. Member did agree with him. Why did the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland say he sent Dr. Barr over to Ireland? He said he sent him over because he was an Englishman, and that if an Irishman had been sent to investigate the prison discipline in Ireland, he would have been subjected to the most virulent abuse. He (Mr. Labouchere) must say that as far as abuse went the right hon. Gentleman did not seem to have succeeded, for Dr. Barr was the subject of abuse, and Dr. Barr deserved the abuse. But it was a remarkable fact that when the right hon. Gentleman told them he thought it desirable to send an Englisman over, he sent an Irishman and an Orangeman who had lived in Scotland. Now, what did Dr. Barr himself say in respect to his going there? The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary said that Dr. Barr was not sent by him, that he was sent by the Prisons Board, and that he (Mr. A. J. Balfour) knew absolutely nothing about the mission. It was a remarkable thing that the Prisons Board should select this Orangeman and Irishman, and send him over to Ireland to inquire into the prison system. But what did Dr. Barr himself say? He was asked this question, "Have you learned that you were sent over at the instance of some Party?" and he answered, "I believe I was." That was the testimony of Dr. Barr himself, that was how he replied to his first defender in the House of Commons. The right hon. Gentleman said that Dr. Barr was endowed with every virtue possible, and that he learned this at one 1320 interview he had with Dr. Barr. The interview made a favourable impression upon the right hon. Gentleman, but perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would remember that Lord Byron said in one of his letters that the man who made the most favourable impression upon him in an interview picked his pocket. Surely, they were not to judge a man by one interview, whether the interview be favourable or unfavourable. Why was this Dr. Barr, whose salary was put upon the English Estimates, sent over to Ireland; what ground was there for taking him from his own duties? Why were they now asked to vote his salary as an official of an English prison? He supposed that during the year Dr. Barr was employed in Ireland he received some sort of remuneration, no doubt out of the Secret Service money, and the Committee was now asked to pay Dr. Barr for duties which it was his business to fulfil at the particular time he was away. Putting aside the hon. Gentleman's character of Dr. Barr—and he (Mr. Labouchere) would have something to say of that later on—the Committee ought not to vote the salary, because Dr. Barr was improperly taken away by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland from duties which he had to fulfil here; the Committee ought not to endorse the conduct of the Prison Commissioners in sending, when called upon by the Irish Secretary to send a man over to Ireland, someone who had distinct functions and duties here. His hon. Friend (Mr. Dillon) proposed a reduction. He (Mr. Labouchere) should vote in favour of it, and he trusted that before this Session was over they would have an opportunity of going into the whole action and character of this man, when they would most distinctly prove everything that had been said about Dr. Barr from time to time.
§ DR. TANNER
said, that before the discussion closed he must press for an answer to the various points he had raised. He had pointed out that Dr. Barr was taken from his duties, that that gentleman had made a report in which he said that everything was satisfactory in the prison at Kirkdale. He had pointed out, too, that the prison at Kirkdale was about as unhealthy a prison for its size as there was in the country. Of course, as an Irish Member, he was apt to submit to the treat- 1321 ment which was usually accorded to Irish Members in the House of Commons. He was not a North of Ireland Orangeman, or he supposed he should receive such treatment as the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Belfast (Mr. Johnston) did. In rising, however, he hoped that the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary (Mr. Matthews) would have the courtesy to explain, if he could, the matters which he (Dr. Tanner) had previously mentioned. It was the duty of every Member who took the trouble to read the Blue Books, which were gratuitously supplied to Members of the House, to scrutinize closely the various items which were asked for by responsible Ministers of the Crown. He had no doubt that some hon. Members opposite did not quite understand the meaning of medical statistics; and, of course, they did not feel the same amount of interest in the matter as one who happened to be a medical man did. He refrained from making use of any very strong language as regarded Dr. Barr. He might or might not be mistaken; but surely responsible Ministers of the Crown, when they came to ask for money, ought to be in a position to afford satisfactory explanations as to the various items required. He wanted an explanation upon three points. He wanted to know whether the Kirkdale Prison was a healthy one or an unhealthy one; whether Dr. Barr told the truth in his Report, or whether the prison statistics which he had quoted at some length were right or wrong? He hoped the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary, who was paid a very good salary for presiding over—in the very good way which he had no doubt the right hon. Gentleman did—a section of the Department he adorned, would condescend on the present occasion to give the Committee some answer to the points which had been raised.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
said, he confessed that he did not think that this discussion about Dr. Barr's conduct in Ireland was very relative to the present Vote. Of course, he could not object to the course of hon. Members if they wished to have a full-dress rehearsal of the debate which was promised on the Irish Prisons' Vote later 1322 on. As, however, the hon. Gentleman (Dr. Tanner) had directly called upon him to answer certain observations, he felt bound in courtesy to rise. He was obliged, however, to point out, in the first place, that the hon. Gentleman's conclusions were hasty. There were two prisons in Liverpool, and for one of them Dr. Barr was responsible. If the hon. Gentleman would turn to the figures, he would find that the second prison in Liverpool presented even a higher percentage of cases of sickness than did the prison at Kirkdale. In the second Liverpool prison, out of 465 males, no less than 244 were treated for sickness in the hospital, and out of 400 females, 251 were treated in the hospital for sickness. He did not know that the proportions differed very materially from other cases; but so far from that telling against Dr. Barr, he should apprehend it rather told in his favour. It was always upon the recommendation or authority of the medical officer that a sick prisoner was treated in hospital, instead of being left in his cell. It was no fault of the medical officers that the prisoners who found their way into the Liverpool prisons were persons, for the most part, in a very low state of health from bad diet, and in a condition by no means conducive to their being able to stand prison discipline. As he had said, the fact that so large a proportion of prisoners in Liverpool were admitted to hospital, so far from telling against Dr. Barr, rather told in his favour, and spoke for his humanity and desire to give prisoners the full benefit of his assistance. He understood that the hon. Member laid stress on the fact that four prisoners were released on medical grounds from Kirkdale Prison. The hon. Member was, no doubt, aware of the course pursued when prisoners were released on medical grounds, which could only be done ultimately by the authority of the Secretary of State, if the case came up on the recommendation of the local medical man of the prison. The medical man advised the Governor that a certain prisoner was so far suffering from confinement that his health was in danger, or his recovery made more difficult by reason of confinement. The grounds of the medical opinion were then considered, and if found sufficient the order for release was made. Again, so far from that testifying to want of 1323 skill or want of humanity on the part of Dr. Barr, it testified to exactly the reverse. It was the medical man who set on foot the series of representations which ended in a prisoner being released. It really seemed to him that the criticisms of Dr. Barr failed entirely in their force. Now, he had some part, though a very small one, in the selection of Dr. Barr. He was asked by his right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland to recommend to him some English prison medical officer who was both capable and experienced. He had no idea when the request was addressed to him for what purpose the services of Dr. Barr were desired by the right hon. Gentleman, but he transmitted the request to the Board of Prison Directors, who knew no more about the matter than he did.
§ MR. MATTHEWS
said, that Dr. Barr was not a second-class officer in any sense, but it happened that the prison in which he served had not a sufficient number of inmates to bring the medical officer under the higher scale of salary. Dr. Barr was a gentleman who had a large private practice in Liverpool before he was selected as prison medical officer, and he was selected, not by the Executive Government, not even by the Prison Commissioners, but by the Justices, before the transfer of the local prisons to the Government. Dr. Barr's conduct in the discharge of his duties in Kirkdale Prison had always given the highest satisfaction, and his reputation in Liverpool, both as a private practitioner and as a prison official, had always been of the highest kind.
§ DR. TANNER
said, when the right hon. Gentleman drew a line of demarcation between Liverpool Gaol, which was in a most unhealthy district, and Kirkdale, situated in a healthy district, he thought his analogy was not a fair one. He (Dr. Tanner) drew attention to the various county prisons, and he still maintained that what he had stated was substantially accurate—namely, that the number of sick people going into the infirmary wards were largely above the ordinary average. He also pointed out the cases of persons discharged in consequence of suffering, not from general affections, but from serious chest disease—that one of them had acute 1324 tuberculosis, and three other phthisis. All the cases of discharge from this prison were of substantially the same description, and the right hon. Gentleman had not condescended to controvert that point. The right hon. Gentleman said that Dr. Barr, although a medical officer of the second-class, was a first-class practitioner, but he could inform the right hon. Gentleman that, as a rule, they would not get any medical man in the first rank of the Profession to take up these appointments, on the ground that men belonging to that class would not be tied down by the duties imposed by the Prison Board officer. The right hon. Gentleman ought to be better informed on these subjects when he came down to the House and endeavoured to controvert assertions which hon. Members were enabled to make upon the facts stated in the Blue Books supplied to them. Having read these Reports, and after what they had heard that night, he thought it would be most improper for the Committee to pass this salary to a medical man who had in the first place behaved in an ungentlemanly and unprofessional way, and was mainly responsible for not doing his duty in consequence of the commands which he received from a partizan Government, which would be passed down to history stigmatized in consequence of misdeeds which had been perpretrated with its cognizance and at its instigation.
§ MR. GILL
said, the right hon Gentleman had said that the large number of cases in hospital was a proof of the skill and humanity of the medical officers, but the humanity of a medical officer would not be shown by allowing a man to suffer ailments of which he complained until they assumed a serious character, and until the man had to be relegated to the hospital in spite of him. Inhumanity of a medical officer would be proved by there being a large number of serious cases in hospital, and that had been proved by the fact that a number of men had gone into prison healthy and had been discharged suffering from disease. One prisoner had died under treatment, and he held that to be the best proof of the inhumanity of the medical officer, and also of his incompetency, because these men complained and the medical officer said they were malingering. The disease under which they were suffering was proved to be no 1325 sham disease, and it at length assumed such a character that Dr. Barr did not dare to refuse them accommodation in the hospital; and two men were consigned to a lingering death from consumption. He made these remarks to point out the absurdity of the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman that a great number of serious cases in Kirkdale Prison which his hon. Friend had quoted as a proof of Dr. Barr's incompetency and inhumanity, were no proof of his skill and fitness as a medical officer.
§ MR. EDWARD HARRINGTON
said, that the main point was that Dr. Barr, an Orangeman and a partizan, had been sent by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland for the purpose of adding to the refinement of cruelty inflicted on Irish prisoners.
§ MR. EDWARD HARRINGTON
said, he would endeavour to do so. He was contending that Dr. Barr was an unfit person to be sent to Ireland for the purpose. The hon. Member for South Belfast (Mr. Johnston) was an opponent of the Irish Nationalists, but they always recognized him as an honest opponent both inside and outside the House; but would the hon. Gentleman be a proper man to send over to Ireland to report to the Chief Secretary for Ireland as to the propriety of leaving an Irish Member in prison. Dr. Barr was a man in avowed hostility to their views, and one of the parasites of the Hamilton family who practically ran the Government of this country, and as such he was sent over to Ireland to decide upon the treatment of Irish political prisoners. The hon. Member for East Mayo was not an ordinary prisoner, and the people of this country would not consent that he should be treated as a burglar or a forger. The hon. Member for East Mayo had asked Dr. Barr by what right he inspected him medically, and whether he was an official of the prison; but he had neither the courage nor the honesty to give his name or say whether he belonged to the prison staff. He had had some experience of prisons, but he had never found that prison discipline was relaxed in favour of Irish politicians, but he had found that while the officials, even down to the turnkey, 1326 carried out the rules to the last letter, there was a manner of doing so which would allow a man to go through even torture in gaol without having his feelings irritated day by day. He believed the policy of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland was not that the prison rules should be carried out in a humane spirit; and the mission of Dr. Barr was not directed to the object, but his mission to Ireland was practically to see that every odium and indignity should be put on Irish political prisoners. Those men were the honoured Representatives of the Irish people, and were men whose lives, outside the political charge against them, had been blameless, and who stood as high in public estimation in their own country as did the Colleagues of the right hon. Gentleman himself. He and his hon. Friends had made a distinct charge which had not been answered. The right hon. gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland had stated that night that the reason why Dr. Barr was chosen was because they wanted to get a high-minded English official, and he had afterwards avowed that Dr. Barr was an Englishman; thereby conveying to the world that an impartial English official, without prejudice, had been sent to Ireland to see whether the prison rules were administered in the ordinary spirit. Hon. Members on those benches had shown how far Dr. Barr came up to that description, and they were content to take a Division on the Vote and allow the matter to rest on the judgment of the country.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 67; Noes 116: Majority 49.—(Div. List, No. 292.)
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said, there were one or two points which it was necessary to clear up. They had the evidence of Dr. Barr that the dietary in the English prisons was less than that in Irish prisons. Man was a creature of habit, and he thought that it was obvious that by suddenly giving a prisoner just enough food to keep body and soul together, his health must be injured; but this would still more be the result of suddenly giving a man less food, and then, after two or three weeks, giving 1327 him more. They ought to recognize the fact that they did not put men in prison for the purpose of torturing them; they ought not, of course, to b made comfortable there; but this specie of slow torture, of denying them sufficient food, ought not to be resorted to. Then again, in England and Ireland the plank bed was used, which was on an incline, and the person who lay upon it was on an incline; and when he had to go to sleep, his limbs became so heavy that continuous sleep was impossible. It was intended to put prisoners on hard beds, but it was never intended to torture them in this way. Another point was the warming of the cells He had asked lately at Millbank Prison why it was that some of the cells were so exceedingly cold, and the answer was that the warming machinery kept the cells that were close to it warm, but that unless the fire was kept up—which was not always the case—the cells in the wings of the building were far too cold. There ought to be an understanding as to what our prison discipline was. It had come to such a point that there should be an inquiry, and it should be declared what our prison discipline ought to be. With regard to prisoners who tried to escape. In Germany the theory was that a prisoner had a perfect right to escape if he could, and it was the business of the prison officials to prevent him doing so. They did not like this—always having to keep watch and ward; but when a prisoner escaped in Germany it was the warders who were regarded as blameable, because they ought to have prevented it. This was the view taken in an enlightened country, and he thought the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary should consider whether the system was not more humane than ours.
§ MR. STUART-WORTLEY
said, he had given attention to all these subjects, and was, of course, impressed with the extreme importance, on the ground of humanity, of making sure that there was no undue severity imposed on prisoners. The prison dietary was, of course, as the hon. Gentleman had said, what was sufficient to support life; but it was clear, if imprisonment was to have any deterrent effect, a person in prison must be worse off than he would be outside. As to the point 1328 of temperature, he had visited two or three prisons lately, and he was sure, from what he had seen, that the aim of the system was to keep the cells at a proper temperature, with a system of ventilation to keep out foul air. With regard to the plank bed, the prisoner had sheets, two blankets, and a woollen rug, and, under the circumstances, he probably slept more comfortably than many people in the country; and he was informed that the plank bed was exactly the same as that on which a soldier slept in the guard-room. He could assure the Committee that when any complaint was made by a prisoner, the circumstances were thoroughly examined by those who were responsible to that House; and if occasion appeared to require it, he had always satisfied himself that a change was made.
§ DR. TANNER
said, there were cases which, owing to their treatment or the unkind laxity of the supervision in gaols, ought to receive very serious consideration before the Vote was allowed to pass. The first class of cases were those of insanity. He had noticed that in the case of one large gaol the number of cases of in sanity during the last 12 months were far beyond the average, and he asked whether this was the result of the class of persons confined in the gaol or of any undue severity in the exposition of the rules. Again, it would appear from the Report of the Commissioners of Prisons that in the year ending March, 1888, a great number of persons committed suicide by hanging, as well as several cases of death from cut-throat. Now, he said, these cases could not occur at all were the prisons properly managed, and if the warders and medical men noticed those who were suffering from a suicidal tendency and put them under watch and ward. He hoped the hon. Gentle man would look into these matters, and try and solve the difficulty in a satisfactory way, when he (Dr. Tanner) was quite sure the hon. Gentleman's action would be endorsed by every Member of the House.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
asked, whether the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Home Department would take the opinion of a fair medical man as to the question of the inclined plank bed? Those Irish Members who had 1329 tested it stated that it was absolute torture. With regard to heating prisons he would also ask whether the hon. Gentleman would agree that thermometers should be set up, say in Millbank Prison, to test whether the heating apparatus did the work it was intended to do?
§ MR. STUART-WORTLEY
said, he should be glad to make the inquiry referred to by the hon. Gentleman. He had already spoken to some prison officials with the view of having registering thermometers placed to test the warming of the cells.
§ DR. TANNER
said, he had pointed out that there was a disproportion of cases of insanity in certain prisons, and had also asked for an explanation of the increased number of suicides.
§ MR. MOLLOY
said, he believed no convicts were sent to Western Australia, and should like an explanation of the item of £400 spent at Victoria in connection with convicts.
§ MR. STUART-WORTLEY
said, this sum was paid under an agreement of long standing with the Colony. There were the survivors of old convicts, and the children of some who, being destitute, would be chargeable on the Colony if this payment, which, however, was diminishing, were not made.
§ DR. TANNER
said, the hon. Gentleman had not answered his question with regard to the increased number of cases of insanity and suicide. This was a subject which, in common humanity, demanded an answer.
§ MR. STUART-WORTLEY
said, he was not prepared to admit that there was an increased number of suicides, but that there was an increase in the number of cases of insanity. He would cause inquiry to be made.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (4.) £74,646, to complete the sum for the Reformatory and Industrial Schools, Great Britain.
§ MR. P. STANHOPE (Wednesbury)
asked, whether the Government would give any effect to the recommendations of the Chief Inspector, who, in his interesting Report, said "Another year has gone by without any legislation for Reformatory and Industrial Schools?" For many years the Chief Inspector of the Schools had made a large number of recommendations, which had never been 1330 followed by legislation of a suitable character, and it was desirable to have some statement from the Government that evening as to their general intention with regard to the schools. The Chief Inspector made a large number of criticisms on the present system, and particularly insisted upon the unfortunate legal necessity there now was of magistrates sending juvenile offenders to prison as a preliminary to their being sent to the schools. He believed everyone would agree that this was undesirable, and that legislation should be initiated to relieve the magistrates of this necessity. The next recommendation was that there should be a separation of the children who were temporarily sent to prison or the workhouse from criminals. If they desired to reform juvenile offenders they ought not to begin by associating them with hardened criminals who were not likely to improve their morals or assist them to reform. Then, with regard to emigration; he would like to hear from the Government whether they had taken any steps to enlarge the field of emigration for juvenile offenders, who, after some time, were supposed to be entirely reformed and capable of earning an honest livelihood. Unfortunately some of the Colonies, which, like Canada, had given facilities for their reception, had since objected to receive them on the ground that in early life they had been in prison. He hoped that this difficulty would be overcome and that the Government would take steps to secure a large field for the emigration of these young people. There had been, during last year, a considerable number of mutinies on board the ships used as reformatories and schools, and notably on board the Akbar, from which several lads had escaped. It was alleged that many of these ships were unsuitable as places in which lads should undergo training, and the Chief Inspector recommended that there should be connected with them, at a proper distance, a playground for the children. He thought it would be admitted that where there was no place for recreation separate from the vessels, the lads were almost forced into the mutinous outbreaks which had occurred during the last 12 months. With regard to the day industrial schools, he hoped that, as far as possible, these would be augmented in 1331 number, and that the Government would see that their great and acknowledged benefits were extended to places in which they did not now exist. Finally, there was a large number of young men and boys discharged every year as incorrigible, and he would like to know whether they went simply to increase the number of uncared for young persons in the streets, because that seemed to him to entail a very serious responsibility on those who had charge of the schools. He trusted that a responsible Minister would tell the Committee that the Government were considering all these questions, and would take upon themselves the duty of carrying out the recommendations of their own officials and of initiating legislation before the next Session of Parliament.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
said, if the hon. Gentleman would take the trouble to go into the Vote Office he would find two Bills, one dealing with reformatories and the other with industrial schools, in which every one of the subjects he had referred to were treated in a satisfactory manner. Not only had the Government carried out the recommendations of their Inspectors, but also other recommendations in connection with the subject which were of great value. With regard to emigration, he was perfectly aware there was difficulty in making a capital advance of money in order to pay for the emigration of a child; there was also the difficulty in handing it over to someone else, the difficulty of finding responsible persons to follow him in after life, and then that of finding Colonies to accept these young persons. But the hon. Gentleman would find, when the discussion took place on this point, that the Minister had taken powers to make advances for these purposes. No legislation could put an end to mutinies on board training ships, which must solely be effected by discipline and management. With respect to the incorrigibles, he pointed out that the schools were not State institutions, and it was impossible to compel the managers to retain those who resisted all the discipline, training, and influences brought to bear upon them in the schools; and the result was that they unfortunately 1332 passed into the class from which prisons were populated.
§ MR. PICTON (Leicester)
said, he could not understand why the cost to the State of maintaining boys in training ships should be 6s. a-week while in the industrial schools it was only from 3s. to 5s., and he should like an explanation of the cause of this difference. The item for industrial truant schools interested him, because be thought he might say that a suggestion of his own, years ago, led to the establishment of these institutions, or to the provision by which children were licensed out of these schools after they had been kept there six months. The whole suggestion he made had not been carried out in its entirety, as it might be with great advantage. When in Hamburg some years ago he visited their "punishment school," and found that not only truants were confined there, but children who had committed such indiscretions as had been referred to were sent there. He was informed, however, that for the first offence children were never sent for longer than one week; that on the second occasion they might be sent for a fortnight; but never, upon any accusation, were they sent for longer than a month. It might be asked, how was it that with such short sentences the number of re-committals were so few? It was simply because of the kind of discipline adopted. He was informed that there was very little corporal punishment inflicted; but that from the time they went in to the time they went out the children were never allowed to speak to each other. They were allowed to speak to the attendants and teachers, but not to each other. He had been struck with the remarkable silence and order of the establishment. It would be easily understood that to children, accustomed to chattering, the imposition of silence had a remarkable effect. Upon returning from Hamburg he had written a letter to The School Board Chronicle, which had attracted a little attention; and a scheme was proposed by the School Board of London for the establishment of a school of this kind. Lord Cross was at that time Secretary for the Home Department, and he was waited upon in connection with this matter. He seemed to regard with considerable favour the 1333 scheme proposed; but upon his sending it for consideration to the Metropolitan magistrates, he found they had an objection to it. The magistrates said they had no power to send boys to such a school, as it was conducted on what was considered the silent system. Children had, therefore, to be sent to the truant school for six months instead of one week, as he had suggested. He had always felt that the objection taken by the Metropolitan magistrates was rather an indiscreet one. Amongst the Society of Friends and other Societies which he might mention, it was a common thing to impose a sentence of silence, not towards everyone, but amongst children who had misbehaved themselves, and the system was found to have a very salutary effect. He had gathered from the records of the Hamburg School that there were hundreds of highly respectable people who had been sent there in early life for a week or a fortnight, as the case might be, and had never to be sent there a second time. The discipline exercised in the Continental schools, to which he drew attention, had nothing of cruelty in it, or of that which could frighten or repress any healthy animal vigour, although it exercised a solemnizing influence upon them, such as to prevent their being taken back again. He could not help hoping that their English system would be reconsidered, and that the example of foreign institutions would be followed.
§ MR. D. CRAWFORD (Lanark, N.E.)
desired to have some information as to the policy of the Government with regard to the establishment of day industrial schools in Scotland. He had had a Bill before the House dealing with this subject last Session. Although he had not received any actual pledge from the Government with regard to the Bill, it was not discouraged by them, but stopped from another quarter. He had understood from the Government that a Bill was in preparation dealing with this point as part of the whole subject of industrial schools. A measure had been introduced into the other House; but he was disappointed to find that Scotland was not included in its provisions relating to day industrial schools. Lord Aberdare's Commission had recommended that day industrial schools should be introduced into Scotland, and 1334 that country placed in the same position as England in this respect. Day industrial schools had been found to possess a very valuable educational effect in England; and he (Mr. D. Crawford) and other friends of his had constantly urged on the educational authorities in Scotland that the same facilities should be provided for industrial school training there as was given in England. He hoped the Government would consider the subject, and would include Scotland in the benefits of the measure of which he had spoken. If his suggestion were not carried out the Scotch Members would have to oppose the Bill to which he had referred when it came from the other House as powerfully as they could.
§ SIR UGHTRED KAY SHUTTLEWORTH (Lancashire, Clitheroe)
said, that after what had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman opposite it was impossible to speak upon this Vote without saying a word or two in reference to the two Bills introduced in the House of Lords. As one of the Commissioners on Reformatory and Industrial Schools, he must say he was delighted to see that the Bills which had been introduced on this subject went pretty generally on the lines of the recommendations of the Commissioners. He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he could give any information to the Committee in regard to the intentions of Her Majesty's Government with regard to legislation? These Bills had been introduced after five years waiting; and, naturally, those who had inquired into the whole question and collected a mass of evidence upon it, were anxious to see some result attend their labours. The need for legislation was the subject of much comment seven years ago, when the Commission was appointed, and that need had certainly not decreased. Many of the objects aimed at in the Bills before the House of Lords were of the greatest importance; and it would be a great disappointment if time were not found for pressing them on. The point referred to by the hon. Member who had last spoken (Mr. D. Crawford) was one which had taken him considerably by surprise. The powers already given in England for establishing day industrial schools had not been extended to Scotland, ex- 1335 cept in Glasgow, where they had an Act of their own. But there was no part of the United Kingdom where the day industrial school classes were more needed; and it was to be hoped that they would be applied to Scotland as well as to other parts of Great Britain. He did not think any good would result from discussing the Vote at great length, or from going into this subject until they had the legislative proposals before them.
§ MR. D. CRAWFORD
said, he was not examined in this matter. It was stated explicitly that the Industrial School Clauses were not to apply to Scotland.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
said, he could neither affirm nor deny the statement of the right hon. Baronet. If the right hon. Gentleman was right it was an oversight on the part of the draftsman, for it was not his (Mr. Matthews') intention to confine the industrial school system to England. As was pointed out, it would not be proper to discuss the Bill. He regretted that it had not been possible to pass it this year, in consequence of Irish and other subjects very interesting to the House having to be settled. It had been a disappointment to himself, after the great labour he had devoted to the matter, that it had not been possible to legislate upon it this year.
§ DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)
complained that the Kingswood Industrial School, near Bristol, was in an exceedingly insanitary condition. The matter had been reported upon by Inspectors time after time; but the condition of affairs had not been improved. He thought it was quite time that something should be done in the matter.
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. STUART-WORTLEY) (Sheffield, Hallam)
said, he would make inquiries into the grievance complained of.
§ Vote agreed to.
(5.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £13,802, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending
on the 31st day of March 1889, for the maintenance of Criminal Lunatics in the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, England.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
said, that in years gone by there had been a considerable amount of criticism passed upon this asylum, and he even thought that the number of patients was the same this year as last year. There had been a decrease of between £3,000 and £4,000 in the expenditure in consequence of those criticisms. He found that the total expenditure at the present time was £35,005. There were 541 criminal lunatics provided for, and 151 officials to look after them, which certainly seemed to be an excessive number. Taking these figures, it would appear that the cost of each resident in the asylum was a trifle over £60 per annum. A great deal had been said with regard to this asylum, for the reason that this appeared to be little less than a gigantic piece of jobbery. To show the condition of things in the asylum, let them take the first item in the Estimate. Although the asylum was in the country, fuel, light, and water cost no less than £2,300 a-year. Anyone who knew anything about these matters must know that such an item was excessive. Soup cost no less than £3,500 a-year. It was a small item, but it showed the sort of jobbery that went on in this nation—it was just the sort of thing one would expect in an institution where there were 151 officials to attend to 541 lunatics. He observed that the establishment had its chaplain. The chaplain had a house, and received £400 a-year. Really he failed to see what use a chaplain could be in a criminal lunatic asylum. He should imagine that criminal lunatics were irresponsible persons, and that, as much as it might be desirable to give them the benefit of this chaplain's ministrations, it would be impossible. But even if they had a chaplain be should not receive so much as £400 a-year, seeing that he already received £350 a-year as retired pay from the Navy. He protested against this gentleman receiving a double salary. If he were able to fulfil his functions he should be preaching now to sailors and not to lunatics. It was preposterous that, in addition to his pension, the chaplain should be receiving £400 a-year and a house. It was 1337 almost as much as a Dean received, and was far in excess of the average amount a clergyman in the Church of England received. He was certain that they might find some sturdy young curate of good principle who probably preached and prayed as well as this chaplain for £150 or £200 a-year; and if the position were offered he had no doubt they would have a mass of curates clamouring for the place. Under the circumstances, he begged to move the reduction of the Vote by the sum of £400.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £13,402, be granted for the said Service."—(Mr. Labouchere.)
§ DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
said, it was not part of his business to defend the management of Broadmoor Asylum; but it must be remembered that if there were a large number of criminal lunatics there must necessarily be a large number of people to look after them. Criminals required a large number of people to look after them, also did lunatics, and in this case they had the two classes combined. However bad the management of Broadmoor Asylum might be in point of detail, he could tell the Committee that it had always had a good reputation from a medical point of view. He proposed that, as there was a great deal of valuable clinical material at this Institution which at present was not utilized, and as there were a great number of points under discussion by medical men which might often be cleared up by studying the life and history of the inmates of this Asylum, he should like the Government to provide for the appointment of a Committee of skilled medical authorities to go round the Asylum periodically, in order to register the history and characteristics of the patients, as advised in a lecture recently published in The Lancet by Sir J. Crichton Browne. In this way he thought that many points which were at present sub judice might be cleared up.
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. STUART-WORTLEY) (Sheffield, Hallam)
said, that if the hon. Gentleman would refer him to authorities upon this question he should be happy to consider it. He pointed out 1338 that the asylum was under au independent Board of unpaid managers. In reply to the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) he would point out that in the nature of the case it was necessary to have a large staff of attendants in the case of criminal lunatics, and that large expenditure in fuel, light, and water was necessary in order to effect cleanliness—cleanliness and cheerfulness diminishing the risk of violence, and in some cases promoting progress towards recovery. The Commissioners had always reported favourably on the management of the asylum. With regard to the Chaplain, he had not been appointed by the present Government.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said, he did not care who appointed the Chaplain, but his contention was that he received too much. In addition to the salary paid him, he received £18 18s. for substitutes when he was absent on leave, the market for substitutes being one guinea. He (Mr. Labouchere) believed that when the incumbent of a parish wished to take a holiday and provide a substitute, the market price for a gentleman to preach and do the service on Sunday was £1 1s., so that the Asylum Chaplain, it would seem, had been absent from his post 18 Sundays in the year. Another item he wished to complain of was a sum of £90 for a year's rations of two gardeners. Everyone knew very well that gardeners did not receive rations at the rate of £45 a-year. He should certainly divide the Committee against the Vote for the Chaplain's salary.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 80; Noes, 177: Majority 97.—(Div. List, No. 293.)
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ Resolutions to be reported To-morrow.
§ Committee to sit again To-morrow.