HC Deb 02 May 1898 vol 57 cc34-5
MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that in Paddington, with 117,000 people, the guardians supported 227 children, whereas Kensington and Chelsea, with 262,000 people, supported 867 children, or nearly double as many in proportion; whether the Whitechapel Board, after close investigation into all the circumstances connected with each of the 76 children chargeable to that union, had found it possible to deal with 35 of them in various ways, leaving only 41 to be provided for directly by the guardians; and whether, in view of these facts, the Local Government Board could see their way to arrange for an investigation, by persons experienced in examining into the condition of the poor, into each individual case of the children who will shortly be displaced by the dissolution of the Sutton Pauper School, with a view to seeing what is best to be done for each child?


If the numbers mentioned in the first paragraph are intended to refer to the children in district schools the statement is not quite accurate. The numbers according to the most recent returns are as follows:—Paddington 123, Kensington and Chelsea 768. The facts as to the Whitechapel Union are substantially as stated. But I am afraid I cannot adopt the honourable Member's suggestion. What he practically asks is this, that the Local Government Board should investigate the case of each individual child in the Sutton Schools with a view of seeing what is best to be done for the child. If the Board were to do this, they must do the same as regards the children in any other poor law school in the metropolis, should the occasion arise. There are nearly 2,000 children in the Sutton Schools, and upwards of 9,000 in the other metropolitan poor law schools, and it would manifestly be impossible for the Board to undertake this duty. Moreover, by so doing, they would be taking upon themselves the duty which expressly belongs to the guardians of the unions to which the children are chargeable. If the children in workhouses, infirmaries, or sick asylums, certified schools, institutions for the blind, deaf and dumb and idiots, training ships, convalescent homes, and other institutions are added to the number in the district schools the total would be as follows:—Paddington, 279; Kensington and Chelsea, 1,338.