§ MR. W. BENN (Tower Hamlets, St. Georges)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been directed to a case which recently came before the board of guardians of St. George's in the East, in which the father of three children admitted to the workhouse desired that they would be brought up in the Roman Catholic faith, that being the faith of their mother and that in which they themselves had been baptised; whether, because the father was described as Church of England on admission, the Local Government Board refused to permit the guardians to bring the children up as Roman Catholics; and whether the guardians would be able, under the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1868, to bring up the children in the faith the father desired.
(Answered by Mr. John Burns.) Section 17 of the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1868, requires in regard to any child in a workhouse under twelve years of age, that the master of the workhouse shall enter in the creed register as the religious creed of the child the religious creed of the father, if the master knows or can ascertain the same by reasonable inquiry. In the present case it appears that the father is a Protestant, and I presume he belongs to the Church of England. It would seem, therefore, that the entry in the creed register in respect 994 of the religious creed of the children was correct. The attention of the Local Government Board was called to the case. They pointed out the effect of the section to which I have referred, but they did not refuse to permit the guardians to bring up the children as Roman Catholics, nor do they propose to interfere in the matter.