HC Deb 06 April 1897 vol 48 cc620-1
MR. M. J. FLAVIN () Kerry, N.

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if he is aware that a letter wag written by the Rev. C. J. Fitzgerald, Roman Catholic clergyman, St. Joseph's, Greenhill, Swansea, on the 15th February 1897, and addressed to Rev. J. Gower Lewis, D.D., Chairman of the Swansea Board of Guardians, applying for permission for two sisters of St. Joseph's Convent to visit the Roman Catholic children in the cottage home (workhouse); whether he is aware that Mr. Philip Jenkins, a member of the Board, stated, in reply to the letter of application, that the Roman Catholic nuns were members of a, secret society; and that Mr. David Jenkins, another member of the Board, moved the following resolution, which is recorded on the minutes of the Board, "That the letter be allowed to lay on the Table for an indefinite period, say, until Roman Catholic priests get married;" whether it is the intention of the Local Government Board to hold an Inquiry into the treatment of the Roman Catholic priest who visits and the Catholic children who are inmates of the cottage home (workhouse): and whether, in view of the language used by members of this Board, some reparation will he made, to the Roman Catholics concerned, and also that this insulting resolution be expunged from the records of the Board?


I have not myself any information as to the facts beyond the statements in the (Question. If the Guardians passed such a resolution as that stated, it is very much to be regretted. I have, however, no authority to direct that any entry in the minutes of the Guardians should be expunged. Neither are the Board empowered to require that reparation should be made for the observation of individual Guardians in the course of discussion of a question at the meeting of the Guardians. If I am furnished with a statement of the facts on which complaint is made as to the treatment of the Roman Catholic priest who visits the School, or of the children who are inmates of the School, the matter will receive my attention.


I should be very happy to furnish the right hon. Gentleman with the particulars, with a view that he might cause an Inquiry to be made.

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