HC Deb 22 February 1889 vol 333 cc119-21
MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been given to the following passage from the Report of the Select Committee on Poor Law Relief:— We recommend that the system of Lady Inspectors should he further extended so as to secure the more complete inspection of boarded-out children, and also the inspection of the female and children's wards in workhouses, and of the staff of nurses and other female officers; and, whether any steps have been, or are about to be, taken to carry out this recommendation of the Select Committee?


With regard to children boarded out beyond the Union to which they are chargeable the Board have had the services of a Lady Inspector, and there has been an inspection of the children boarded out under the several Boarding-out Committees. These Committees consist either exclusively or for the most part of ladies, and it is upon these Committees that the responsibility for the supervision of the children must devolve. The inspection undertaken by the Board has not been so much with the view of ascertaining the condition of each individual child as of learning, by means of an inspection of the children and the foster-parents' homes, how the duties which devolve on the Boarding-out Committees are discharged. The arrangements for inspection by Lady Inspectors of the female and children's wards, and of the staff of nurses and other female officers in workhouses in England and Wales, which number between 700 and 800, would involve the employment of a considerable addition to the Board's staff of Inspectors, and the Government do not contemplate making such appointments. It is to be borne in mind that the workhouses are also visited by General Inspectors, School Inspectors, and Commissioners of Lunacy, and I should be very reluctant to propose a system of inspection by an additional class of Inspectors. I do not in the least under-estimate the advantages which might result from ladies assisting in the administration of workhouses, but in my opinion this assistance can best be secured by the election of Lady Guardians.


I beg to give notice that in Committee of Supply I will call attention to this subject.