§ MR. J. HOWARD (Middlesex, Tottenham)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department—(1) whether he is aware that cases have occurred of boys being sent away to sea from industrial schools without the consent of their parents; (2) whether, when a boy has been ordered to be kept in an industrial school till he is 16 years of age, there is any authority under which he can be sent to sea or farm work in another country, between the ages of 14 and 16, without the knowledge or consent of his parents, and while they are still paying towards his maintenance in the school; and (3), whether the school has any claim upon the boy or any money he may earn between those ages?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
Yes, Sir; such cases have occurred. The requisite authority is given by the Reformatory and Industrial Schools Act, 1891, which empowers the managers of any such school to dispose of a child, with his consent, in any trade, calling or service. In cases of emigration, the consent of the Secretary of State is also required, and it is made in the Home Office a condition of granting that consent that the written consent of the parents shall be obtained, unless it can be shown that on account of their neglect or misconduct such consent ought to be dispensed with. The answer to the third paragraph of the Question appears to be in the negative.