HC Deb 24 July 1900 vol 86 c1054

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if his attention has been drawn to the issue of a public notice by the Wandsworth Board of Guardians, in which a free pardon was offered to the parents of some 300 children who should reclaim them on a given data; can he state whether the issue of such notice was sanctioned by the Local Government Board; and, whether they have addressed any communication to the guardians on the matter.


I have made inquiry on this subject, and I am informed that a committee of the guardians, in going through the list of children chargeable to the Union, found that there were between two and three hundred cases in which the parents had been lost sight of, and in very few of which the guardians could prove desertion or take any proceedings. The notice is stated to have been issued for the purpose of inviting parents, who had left their children for years, to call on the guardians and arrange to take their children away. In consequence of the notice about thirty children were handed over to their parents. No sanction to the notice was given by the Local Government Board. The notice appears to me to have been open to objection, and a letter has been sent to the guardians pointing this out, and stating that in the opinion of the Board the practice of issuing such a notice should be discontinued.