HL Deb 09 June 1856 vol 142 cc1160-1

, in moving the second reading of this Bill, said it would not be necessary for him, on the present occasion, as he had no reason to anticipate any opposition to the measure, to refer in detail to the advantages which might be expected to arise from the establishment of reformatory and industrial schools, by which the endeavour was made to check the source of crime by sending juvenile offenders to these institutions, and removing them from the contamination of bad parents. Such institutions would undoubtedly form one great means of drying up the sources of crime. That crime had recently increased was unhappily proved by statistics, and if that increase had taken place under disadvantageous circumstances—if there had been any redundancy of population or scarcity of employment, or if wages had been reduced—we could not have been surprised at the fact, however we might have deplored it. But at no time had there been such general prosperity in the agricultural, manufacturing, and mining districts, as had existed during the last few years, and yet, in the face of that prosperity, and of all the pains that had been taken to improve the condition of the labouring and mining population, there had unquestionably been an increase of crime in this country. The main objects of the present Bill were to simplify the existing modes of committing young persons to reformatory schools, to give to parents the power of removing their children from one school to another, and to give facilities for the proper identification of children. The Bill, which amended the provisions of the 17 & 18 Vict., c. 86, and the Scotch Act brought in by Mr. Dunlop, had received the sanction and concurrence of the Government, and three or four of the clauses had been brought in by the Home Secretary in the other House. He anticipated no opposition to the measure, but, should any be offered, he hoped to be able to produce satisfactory reasons why their Lordships should look upon it with favour. He moved that the Bill be read a second time.

After a few words from the Earl of HARROWBY, in approval of the measure,

Bill read 2a and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Thursday next.

House adjourned till To-morrow.