HL Deb 30 June 1873 vol 216 cc1547-9

Amendments reported (according to Order).

Further Amendments made.


said, he had endeavoured to carry out the wishes of their Lordships, expressed in the Committee of this Bill, in the clauses he had brought up. Their Lordships would find all the Amendments which had been made in the House of Commons to Clause 6, carried out by the words now before the House, and the clauses after Clause 7, he believed, carried out the expressed wishes of their Lordships' House. He wished to introduce words into the second new clause, to avoid any misapprehension as to the meaning of the clause, for it might be construed, as it stood at present, as if the Provisos affected the first part of the clause; and this was not intended. The first part of the clause respecting the exemption of children who were employed in harvest, hay harvest, and so on, was intended to be an absolute enactment; whereas, as the clause now stood, the Provisos might apply to the first part, as well as the second part of the clause. He (Lord Henniker) wished to say a few words in explanation of the clause relating to reformatory and industrial schools, which he had introduced, as he was bound to do on bringing up a new clause on the Report. He thought their Lordships would agree to this clause to exempt reformatory and industrial schools from the operation of the Bill; for the chief object in those schools was to teach habits of work, as well as to bring the children into a school of education, under the ordinary acceptation of the term. Suppose a boy, badly brought up, as most children were who came under these Acts, he would not, perhaps, settle down to school work for a time, but, by degrees, and by means of putting him to field work, he would do so. Then attendances at school, taken by the rules of the Education Department, was very difficult to calculate in this case; the two hours of attendance was seldom, if ever, made up in these schools in each school-time. The schooling was in almost every case ample, but the advantage taken of a wet day, and other reasons, made the attendance at school necessarily, and rightly, irregular. The children who came under these Acts were of a different class from those affected by the Bill, and the course of instruction was different, too. It must be wrong to put any obstacle in the way of the working of those schools. Financially, it would affect them; for in many instances, the labour of the children was let out in the neighbourhood, and in one instance, £100 a-year was gained in this way in Northamptonshire. Great power was given under the Industrial Schools Act, almost amounting to a stringent system of compulsion; and, surely it would not be right to put other restrictions upon such children. He (Lord Henniker) had imagined those schools would not come under the provisions of the Bill, as they were under special Acts; but he found on investigation, that although they were virtually under special Acts, they were not so actually; for no special provisions were laid down for the instruction to be given, and this fact would bring them under the Bill. They were really under special provisions; for they would not be certified schools unless they were under Government inspection, and the rules were sanctioned by the Secretary of State. He hoped their Lordships would consent to the introduction of the clause, as if these schools were brought under the Bill, it would very much interfere with the good and effective work they were doing in the country.

Amendment moved, at end of Clause 8 insert— ("Nor shall the said provisions apply in the case of any child for the time being detained in a certified reformatory school or in a certified industrial school within the meaning of the Reformatory Schools Acts, 1866 and 1872, and Industrial Schools Acts, 1866 and 1872 respectively.")—(The Lord Henniker.)


said, that the Bill had no doubt been improved since it came up from the Commons, but he doubted whether the Amendment would not place reformatory and industrial schools in a better position than the parents of the children who were not permitted to go to work under a certain age. He understood that the noble Lord behind him proposed the addition to the clause because certain industrial schools in Northamptonshire earned not less than £100 a-year by letting out the children to farmers in the neighbourhood, and that if they were prevented by this Bill from doing so, they would suffer a considerable pecuniary loss. If that were so, he thought their Lordships ought not to agree to the clause at the present moment, as he objected to an industrial school letting out children to the neighbouring farmers.


hoped his noble Friend (Lord Henniker) would postpone his Amendment till the third reading.


said, he was quite willing to act on that suggestion.

Amendment, by leave of the House, withdrawn.

Bill to be read 3a on Monday next; and to be printed as amended.—(No. 185.)