HC Deb 23 February 1899 vol 67 c279

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Catholic Bishops of Ireland recently passed a resolution condemning the Irish Executive for excluding many children when found begging from admission to industrial schools; and whether he will direct the modifying of the order referred to, and admit as usual to industrial schools all children found seeking alms?


The resolution was to the following effect— That we the members of the Standing Committee of the Irish Bishops, in our own name and in the names of our colleagues, deem it our duty to make a strong remonstrance against the action of the Irish Executive in excluding from Industrial Schools, by their recent circular, numbers of children who are eligible for admission under the terms of the Irish Industrial Schools (Ireland) Act as universally understood and acted on up to the present. The circular referred to was issued in the interests of the classes of children to whom the Industrial Schools Act was really intended to apply and to prevent manifest abuses of the law; and I cannot consent to its withdrawal.


Arising out of that Question, may I ask the right honourable Gentleman whether there is evidence to show that children are deliberately sent to beg in the streets with the object of having them committed to Roman Catholic Institutions?


There is evidence that; children are sent out into the streets to qualify them for committal to industrial schools.