HC Deb 23 March 1891 vol 351 c1678
MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the evidence in several recent baby-farming cases in which convictions have been obtained for manslaughter; whether he has observed that it appears from the evidence in these cases, and in similar cases, that the children are largely obtained by means of advertisements in daily and weekly newspapers published in London and the provinces; and whether he will take into consideration the advisability of legislating with a view to control or prevent the insertion of such advertisements?


I observe that the evidence in these cases shows that children are obtained by means of advertisement. I do not see my way to legislative interference with these advertisements, which do not invite to anything necessarily illegal. Neither the Infant Life Act of 1872, nor the amending Bill of last year, which was considered by a Select Committee of this House, proposed to control or prevent the insertion of such advertisements, which are, moreover, found by the police to be a useful clue to the whereabouts of the baby-farming establishments.