HC Deb 21 August 1894 vol 29 cc170-1
MR. A. O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any objection to say on what authority he on Tuesday last made the statement that a recent inquiry by the Catholic authorities has resulted in a Report to the effect that the state of St. John's Industrial School, Walthamstow, was satisfactory; whether the inquiry referred to was held in camerâ, without cross-examination, only one complainant, and the officials inculpated being separately questioned and the boys themselves not interrogated; whether, as a fact, the inquiry resulted in establishing the truth of the complaints, and in a Report to the effect that the punishments of "tramping" and "crucifixion" had been administered continuously for several hours at a time and on several days, Sundays included, and, further, that the treatment of boys with ophthalmia was a matter that should be attended to and remedied without delay, adding that the poor sufferers have to remain in one corner of the playground without seats; whether the persons inculpated are still left in charge of the school; and whether he will direct that the investigation he has promised shall be conducted by some independent authority not already committed to a favourable Report on the school?


After considering the allegations made against the management of the St. John's Industrial School, Walthamstow, I have come to the con- clusion that in the interest of all parties it is desirable that there should be an open inquiry by a competent and independent person. Under the circumstances, it will be better that I should abstain from answering in detail the other parts of my hon. Friend's question.