HL Deb 21 May 1897 vol 49 cc1020-1

Any offence under this Act may be prosecuted before a court of summary jurisdiction in manner provided by the Summary Jurisdiction Acts.


moved, after the word "prosecuted," to insert the words "and any forfeiture recoverable."

Amendment agreed to.


moved the following new clause to follow Clause 4:— Any person retaining or receiving an infant under the age of two years on consideration of a sum of money not exceeding £20 paid down, and without any agreement for further payment, as value for the care and bringing up of the said infant until it is reclaimed or of an age to provide for itself, shall within 48 hours from the time of receiving such infant give notice of the fact to the local authority. If he does not give the notice required by this section, he shall be liable to forfeit the amount of any sum received by him in respect of such infant, or such less sum as the Court having cognisance of the case shall deem just, and the Court shall give directions as to the manner in which the sum forfeited shall be applied for the benefit of the infant, and shall, if necessary, cause the infant to be removed to a workhouse or place of safety, and the master of such workhouse shall receive such infant, which shall be maintained in the workhouse or place of safety until it can be otherwise lawfully disposed of. His Lordship explained that the clause attempted to deal with people who put out infants to nurse and paid down a lump sum for them. The clause was much desired by those interested in the question, on the ground that it might act as a deterrent in such cases. The cases the Bill really sought to deal with were those in which children were put out to nurse, and a comparatively small sum was paid down which could not possibly pay for their education and proper up-bringing. Those were cases where it might reasonably be concluded that the children were put out to nurse with the idea that they would never be heard of again. The limitation of £20 would, he believed, include the greater number of cases of baby-farming which were at the root of, so many of the evils connected with the trade, and would exclude the greater number of genuine cases in which well-to-do people who, being obliged to leave the country, pay down a certain sum for the care and up-bringing of the children whom they required to leave behind.

Clause read First and Second time, and ordered to stand part of the Bill; Bill to be Read 3a on Monday next; and to be printed as amended.—[No. 94.]

House Adjourned at Five o'clock, to Monday next, a Quarter before Eleven o'Clock.