HL Deb 06 June 1861 vol 163 cc628-9

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


in moving the second reading of this Bill, said its object was to enable the counties of Scotland to establish or to contribute to the reformatories out of certain funds which were now lying in the Bank and which had been accumulating for some years. The Prison Board of Scotland, finding, soon after their establishment that it was necessary to increase the prison accommodation, proceeded to exercise the powers given under the Act and to assess counties for that purpose. It was found, however, that though they had power to assess the counties they had none to apply the assessment to any other purpose than the providing additional prison accommodation. The success of reformatory schools in diminishing crime had shown that to expend money in increasing prison accommodation would be useless outlay. The assessment collected for this purpose was lodged in the bank, and the object of this Bill was to enable the Prison Boards of counties, with the consent of the General Prison Board, to apply those funds towards the establishment of reformatory schools of which there were but three in Scotland, for young persons from the ago of sixteen upwards.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.


moved as an Amendment that the Bill be read a second time that day six months. He thought that in a matter of such importance legislation ought to originate with Her Majesty's Government. The Bill would alter the whole of the Prison Acts of Scotland. Besides, in an Act passed last year power was taken to apply some portion of the county funds for the purpose of reformatories, and, therefore, he thought that this measure was wholly unnecessary. He objected to the appropriation of money raised under the powers of one Act of Parliament to proposes stated in another Act of Parliament. He regarded this Bill as an attempt to take out of the hands of the Commissioners the appropriation of funds originally designed for this purpose alone, and thought an opportunity should be given to the Commissioners of supply and to the borough authorities to have a voice in the matter if these funds were to be laid out as proposed.

Amendment moved, to leave out ("now") and insert ("this Day Six Months.")


was anxious that there should be reformatory schools all over the country, but he objected to this Bill upon the ground that it was wrong to dispose for one purpose of funds which had been voted for another. The money was got from an assessment for the purpose of building and improving prisons and now it was sought to apply the surplus of this fund to the building of reformatory schools. The second objection to the Bill was that it saddled the counties with the maintenance of reformatories whether they desired it or not.


supported the Bill. Reformatory schools were intended to serve the purpose of prisons for a particular kind of delinquents, and, therefore, the building of such institutions was a strictly cognate purpose to that for which the prison assessments had been levied. Prison Boards had already the power of laying on a special assessment for the erection of reformatories; and, moreover, they were elected bodies, and not likely to act in opposition to the wishes and interests of their constituencies.


remarked, that though reformatories were in some sense prisons, yet they were prisons for a totally different purpose than those for which the money was raised.


thought that the Bill contained some very objectionable provisions; and he should, therefore, support the Amendment.


in addition to other objections, said, he objected that this was a general measure brought with the view of meeting two or three individual cases only.

On Question, That ("now") stand Part of the Question, their Lordships divided:—Contents 16; Not-Contents 49: Majority 33.

Resolved in the negative, and Bill to be read 2a, this Day Six Months.

House adjourned at half-past Six o'clock, till To-morrow, half-past Ten o'clock.