HL Deb 16 June 1862 vol 167 cc633-4

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


, in moving the second reading of this Bill, said, that it had been sent from the other House where it had received careful consideration. Its object was to enable boards of guardians to provide education for pauper children in certain cases in which, as the law at present stood, they could not now do so. It was universally admitted that pauperism could not be checked until they nurtured the children in habits of self-reliance, independence, and morality, and that those qualities were only to be cultivated by a proper system of education, separate and apart from the workhouse system. He was not disposed to deny that in a considerable number of workhouses everything which could be done was done for the education of pauper children; but it was well known to all who took an interest in the question that a workhouse was a place in which the education of a child could only be carried out under most disadvantageous circumstances. By the first clause the guardians were empowered to send any poor child to certain certified schools, supported by private individuals, and to pay for their maintenance while there a sum not exceeding the average cost of a child in the union. No child, unless an orphan or deserted, could be sent to such a school without the consent of the parents; nor could it be kept at the school longer than the parents were willing. No child was to be sent to any school conducted on principles of a religious denomination to which the child did not belong. The noble Earl said, that if the measure was read a second time, he should propose a clause in Committee limiting the operation of the Bill to England. He recommended the measure to their Lordships as an important auxiliary to the Poor Law in a difficult part of its operation.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.

After a short discussion, in which Lord LYTTELTON and the Earl of HARROWBY took part,


said, he would not object to the second reading, but he did not think that the Bill would be attended with all the advantages expected from it.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.