§ MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the neglect of the Bedwellty Board of Guardians to appoint a chaplain to the union workhouse, as required by the Poor Law Consolidated Order, Art. 153; and, whether, seeing that the spiritual interests of the inmates are left in the hands of the Ebbw Vale Ministers' Union, who appear to hold only occasional services, he proposes to take any steps to enforce the law, so that the inmates of the workhouse shall enjoy ministrations of religion as required by the Order.
(Answered by Mr. Long.) I am aware of the circumstances referred to in the first paragraph of the Question. I am informed that the Vicar of Tredegar or one of his curates holds a service in the workhouse once a week, and that the Nonconformist ministers of Tredegar and Ebbw Vale have made arrangements for the holding of services at the workhouse every Sunday afternoon, for which purpose a rota of ministers has been drawn up. The arrangement, I am told, is that if the minister appointed to attend cannot do so he shall find a substitute, but I understand that on a recent occasion a substitute did not attend. I understand also that some of the inmates are allowed to go out on Sundays to attend church or chapel. It does not seem to me to be necessary that I should interfere in the matter.