HC Deb 19 April 1910 vol 16 cc1866-7

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to a case tried at the Cardiganshire Quarter Sessions on the 7th instant in which a boy named Gardner was charged with attempted suicide; whether he is aware that the boy was sent to a farm in Pembrokeshire from the Chase Farm Schools, Enfield, and that in his defence he stated that he attempted to commit suicide owing to the unkindness of the farmer's two sons; whether he is aware that on the 6th instant, at the New Chapel, Pembrokeshire, Petty Sessions, one of the sons of the farmer was convicted on the prosecution of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for ill-treating an industrial schoolboy, and fined £25 and costs; and whether he will consider the question of directing some police officer or other official to visit from time to time boys sent out to service from industrial schools so as to inquire as to their conduct, and, if necessary, to secure for them fair treatment?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I have made some inquiry into the cases mentioned. The two youths had both been chargeable to the Edmonton Union and were not industrial school children. The situations in Cardiganshire had been found for them through the instrumentality of the guardians or their officers. So far as I have ascertained, the circumstances of these two cases were quite exceptional, and are by no means characteristic of the treatment which youths employed on farms in Wales or elsewhere ordinarily receive, but I propose to make some further inquiry in the matter.