HL Deb 12 June 1902 vol 109 cc474-6


Order of the day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, this is a Bill of a very simple character, and I need not detain your Lordships more than a minute in explaining its provisions. The necessity for the Bill arose in consequence of there being no definition in the poor law of Ireland of the terms "orphan" and "deserted," as the result of which the Local Government Board in Ireland has been precluded from admitting a considerable number of children to the benefits of "boarding out." The English Local Government Board has power to make regulations in the matter and they have exercised it, but the Irish Local Government Board possesses no corresponding power. Therefore it became necessary, to attain the object in view, that there should be legislation to define the terms "orphan" and "deserted," and the definition embodied in his Bill is precisely that which has been adopted by the Local Government Board in England.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(Lord Monteagle of Brandon.)


My Lords, I rise to support this Bill, the object of which is to assimilate the law of Ireland to that of England in respect to the boarding-out of pauper children by giving a wider interpretation to the word "orphan." If one parent of a child is dead and the other in penal servitude or in a lunatic asylum, the child is just as much an object of compassion, and is in the same position as if both the parents were dead. This Bill will enable Guardians to board out children where they are now unable to do so. The boarding out system has been tried with great advantage in many parts of Ireland, and it is very desirable to extend it.


My Lords, in rising to support the Bill of my noble friend, and to express the hope that there will be no opposition to the Second Beading, I would take this opportunity of saying that we in Ireland are very much indebted to Lord Monteagle for his efforts in regard to workhouse reform and the amelioration of the condition of those who come within the scope of the poor law.


On behalf of the Irish Government, I have only to say that there is no objection to the Bill, but of course it is impossible to say definitely what are the prospects of passing it into law this session.

On Question, agreed to; Bill read 2a, according to order, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Tuesday next.