HL Deb 07 May 1858 vol 150 cc249-50

On Motion that this Bill be now read a Second Time,


said, he would ask their Lordships to give their sanction to the second reading of this Bill, the object of which he would explain in a few words. By the existing law the Legislature extended its protection to young girls between the ages of ten and twelve. He asked that that protection might be extended one year further to girls between the ages of ten and thirteen. He asked this because he had had brought before him a series of cases which he had himself examined, and which proved the need of this protecting legislation. This was exactly the age at which young girls came from workhouses and entered into service, when they were often exposed to very peculiar temptations. He could enter into details which would pain their Lordships, and which would abundantly establish the necessity for the Bill; but as he believed that the measure would at once recommend itself to their favour, and as any such detail, if necessary, would be most undesirable, he did not propose to enter into it. He had taken the advice of those who were best qualified to give an opinion on the question, persons who might be called the moral police of this metropolis. He would ask their Lordships to read the Bill a second time.

Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Monday, the 17th instant.

House adjourned at a quarter to Seven o'clock, to Monday next, half-past Ten o'clock.