HC Deb 17 December 1908 vol 198 cc2085-6
MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that a committee appointed by the Newtownards Board of Guardians submitted a report on the 10th instant to the effect that no Protestant inmate will be allowed to receive from his or her friends a copy of the Bible, or from other outsiders, without the sanction of a chaplain being first obtained; and whether, in view of the character of such a recommendation, he will cause inquiries to be made with the view of having that part of the report deleted.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The report referred to recommended that no visitor should be allowed to give any literature directly to a patient, that non-religious literature intended for a patient should be delivered by the master of the workhouse, and that religious literature should only reach a patient through the chaplain in charge of him. The guardians are preparing draft rules as to visiting and the distribution of literature which will receive the attention of the Local Government Board when submitted.