HL Deb 20 June 1892 vol 5 cc1544-5


Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, this is a Bill enabling members of the Boards of Poor Law district schools in Ireland to charge their travelling expenses. Those expenses are allowed in England, and there appears to be no objection in this case. I believe there is only one school of this character in Ireland; therefore I hope there will be no objection to the Second Reading.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a"—(The Earl Cadogan.)


My Lords, I do not wish to throw any difficulty in the working of these institutions, but this Bill appears to me most unnecessary. These Guardians are persons who have a great many public duties to perform without payment; they have to attend as jurors at Assizes, and at Quarter Sessions and at Presentment Sessions, and it is probable that they are just the men who will furnish our County Councillors in the future. I am not aware that it is proposed to pay them in any of those capacities. And, besides performing all those duties, they are just the men who find time to attend public meetings. And, my Lords, I cannot understand the object of providing for the payment of clerks of Unions; they are not officers of the district schools, and the District Schools Act provides for the salaries of their officers. And I think I understood the Lord Privy Seal to tell us that there was only one of these schools. The Act providing for these schools I believe came into existence in 1843, and all that time it has not been thought necessary to reform the law. It so happens that I was present last year with a good many Guardians at a discussion as to the value of these schools, and we came to the conclusion that it was not advisable to adopt them. The industrial schools formed under the Industrial Schools Act do a great deal of good in consequence of the stringent powers of the Industrial Schools Act; but these schools have no such stringent powers—they are worked under the ordinary Poor Law Acts.


I am sorry to hear that the noble Lord disapproves of these schools which it is intended to encourage, because, in the opinion of the Chief Secretary for Ireland, it is very desirable to establish these schools which are created by the joint action of several Unions. It was pointed out that the Guardians of the Unions close to where the school was would very easily do the work in connection with the school, but that the other Guardians might have a long way to travel in order to take part in the work, and therefore it was thought not only desirable but just that their expenses, in accordance with the English law, should be defrayed.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.