HC Deb 04 June 1897 vol 50 cc263-4
LORD EDMUND TALBOT (Sussex, Chichester)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the case of Arthur Blow and the Sculcoates Union; and, whether he will grant an immediate official inquiry into all the circumstances of the case?


The facts of the case with regard to the boy referred to in the Question have been the subject of considerable correspondence, and it is not necessary that there should be an inquiry as suggested for the purpose of ascertaining them. The mother of the boy was deserted by her husband, and in order that she might go out to work she placed the child with a Mrs. Stamp, paying for his maintenance with her. The mother died in 1889, and Mrs. Stamp then applied to the Guardians for relief for the child, and this relief was granted to her by the Guardians. The religion of the boy at that time was stated to be Primitive Methodist, but there appears to be no doubt that the religion of the father and mother was Roman Catholic. For some time the boy was sent to a Roman Catholic day and Sunday School, but he was afterwards apparently sent to a Board School. The Local Government Board regret that this should have been done, but they have no authority under which they could require that the child should be taken from the charge of Mrs. Stamp. Subsequently when the boy was over 12 years of age he was received into the workhouse, and according to the statements which have been made to the Board, he wished to be brought up as a Primitive Methodist, and the Statute does not confer on the Board any power of interfering in such a case.