§ SIR G. BADEN-POWELL (Liverpool, Kirkdale)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the reformatory ship Clarence, on the River Mersey, is supported almost entirely from taxes and rates, and that the committee of management includes no representatives of the taxpayers or ratepayers; whether he is aware that, although after careful consideration of the report of the recent official inquiry he has recommended the reinstatement of the captain, and that the responsibility for the recent smallpox scandals rested with the medical officer, the committee of management have now decided that the captain is not to be reinstated but is to leave the ship on 5th April, while the services of the medical officer are retained; whether the committee will be called upon to reconsider their decision; and what further action he proposes to take in vindication of the conclusions of the official inquiry?
§ MR. ASQUITH
The ship may be said to be entirely supported by the rates and taxes, as last year the contributions from these sources amounted to £4,400 19s., and the private subscriptions to £6. The committee may, therefore, in a sense, be said to represent the rate and tax payers. The facts are as suggested in the question. A letter has been written to the committee of management stating that:—The Secretary of State must insist on the reinstatement of Captain Statham in command of the Clarence, and unless he hears that the committee are prepared to adopt this course it will be his duty to take steps for the withdrawal of the certificate which they now hold.