HC Deb 11 June 1896 vol 41 cc854-5
CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether there is any legal authority to enable the master of a workhouse to detain parents of the vagrant class on account of the sickness of their children, when the result of their not being detained is, in the opinion of the workhouse medical officer, likely to cause, not only unnecessary suffering and injury to the children's health, but even to jeopardise their lives; whether his attention has been called to a case of this kind in connection with the Staines Union Workhouse; and whether he will take steps to enable the masters of workhouses to deal with such cases?


The attention of the Local Government Board has been drawn to the case mentioned in the Question, and they have stated that they are not aware that the master of a workhouse has any legal authority to detain parents on account of the sickness of their children. If the result of discharging the children would be to jeopardise their lives, they might be detained; but the Local Government Board have no power to enable the master to detain the parents also.