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to which the subject had been referred | He did not wish to introduce the reliduring the last year, was in favour of his gious element into the discussion, but he proposal. could not help saying that such a provision he should regard with sincere regret. True, the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary said, that that would not be the effect of the clause; but the question was, what meaning a court of law would attach to the words.

Amendment proposed, in line 7, to leave out the word "five," and insert the word "twelve."


SIR ROBERT PEEL said, he felt compelled to oppose the Amendment. The Committee agreed to the age of twelve years by a majority of only one. He was strongly in favour of the age of five years, which answered every sanitary purpose, and after that period the child would get an excellent education in the workouse school. In enacting that children up to the age of five years might be put out to nurse, "or otherwise," he intended no reference to the establishment of institutions for children throughout Ireland; but he merely used the words because the phrase "to nurse might be supposed to mean that the child was actually at the breast, and children five years old could hardly be expected to be in that position. Up to one or two years they would be at the breast, and then they would be taken care of until they attained the age of five. MR. MAGUIRE said, he believed the medical authorities in Ireland had given it as their opinion that on mere sanitary grounds it was expedient that children should for a longer period than the first five years of their age be brought up out of the workhouse. He believed, too, that the last place in which a boy or girl would receive an education calculated to fit either for the daily duties of life was in the workhouse. It was found from experience that young women trained there were entirely unsuited to become domestic servants. For his own part, he felt the strongest conviction that the future of Ireland depended to a great extent on the decision at which the Committee might arrive in reference to the Amendment.


MR. WHITESIDE said, he could not concur in all the remarks of the last speaker; but the hon. Gentleman had this in his favour-that in the opinion of the Select Committee boards of guardians should be authorized to place pauper children out at nurse up to the age of twelve years. If the words otherwise" should be inserted in the Bill and become law, the result would be that the guardians might send the children under their care, not only to schools, but to other institutions — such as convents to be educated at the public expense. Mr. Hennessy


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LORD JOHN BROWNE said, he hoped that no change whatever would be made in the clause, which stood as prepared by the Poor Law Commissioners. The whole question of sending children out of the workhouse was considered by the Select Committee as a sanitary one, and the age of five years was fixed upon as that beyond which extensive mortality did not exist in the Irish poorhouses. He held, therefore, that to extend the time of nursing from five to twelve years, would be to impose an unnecessary burden upon the ratepayers. Children were well fed and well educated in the workhouse, and in all respects were better treated than the children of some of those who were taxed for their support. If sent outside, they must necessarily be placed with the very poorest class of people, for none other would receive them; and, while they would be worse fed and worse clothed, in health, they would not be so well attended to in sickness as they would be if allowed to remain in the workhouse. A boy in the workhouse would be obliged to attend school every day; whereas, outside, he might go as seldom and as irregularly as he pleased. The two objections which had been urged to children being brought up in the workhouse first, that they inevitably contracted workhouse attachments, and were less likely afterwards to be absorbed in the industrial population; and, secondly, that girls especially were apt to be contaminated by association with women of bad character-were alike based on a totally false assumption, and showed in those who used such arguments an entire ignorance of the system of classification which was carried out in the workhouse, which rendered such contamination literally impossible. The question of outdoor relief had been referred to. He believed, if granted, it would be the ruin of the country.

MR. CARDWELL said, that the Resosolution of the Committee pointed entirely to the putting out children to nurse up to the age of twelve years. He observed that Question 621, as put by him, was in these words

"The seventh clause is one to give to the board of guardians the power of relieving any orphan or deserted children out of the workhouse

by placing such children out to nurse or otherwise,

according to their discretion."

The words "or otherwise," therefore, did occur in the clause; but no attention appeared to have been directed to them. But the question which followed showed distinctly what were the grounds which the Chief Commissioner recommended, and which mainly induced the Committee to adopt the clause. He would read Question 624, as put by him to Mr. Power

“There are two reasons, then-first, a medical reason; and then the moral reason—namely, the desirability of cultivating that family attachment which grows up in a child, when cared for, even in a family not its own."

That was really the principle of the controversy, so far as his recollection served him, that took place in the Committee. There were on a division six Members who thought it right to stop with the medical reason, which terminated at five years; and there were the majority of seven, who thought the moral reason ought also to be considered. The former, having regard to the medical reason, supported the original proposal of the Poor Law Commissioners-namely, five years; and the latter, considering the desirability of cultivating the family attachment, prevailed, authorizing boards of guardians to place orphan and destitute children out to nurse up to the age of twelve years, when they should think it right to do so.

MR. POLLARD-URQUHART observed, that the Amendment did not make it at all compulsory on boards of guardians to extend outdoor relief to children of twelve years old. They were only allowed to do so; and he did not think the power would be abused.

MR. GEORGE said, the question before the Select Committee was, whether-till five years or any other period-it would be safe to intrust boards of guardians with a discretion to put children out to nurse; but the great preponderance of evidence was that, after five years, especially in an educational point of view, they were better in the poorhouse. The subtle construction which had first been put upon the words "or otherwise," in Clause 9, by the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for Ireland, had never been contemplated by the Committee of last year. It would be a most unfitting and indecorous way, under cover of two such words, to introduce a new and highly important

principle, as that guardians, merely at their own will and caprice, should send children to schools of which nobody knew anything. He would be just as unwilling to intrust such a wide discretion to a Protestant board of guardians in the north of Ireland as to a Roman Catholic board of guardians in the south. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman before the debate closed would abandon the interpretation which, doubtless hastily, he had put upon the words.

MR H. A. HERBERT said, he was surprised at the excitement which these simple words had occasioned. It would almost seem as if his right hon. Friend had been a party to some corrupt compact.

MR. GEORGE said, he should be the last person to insinuate anything of the kind. He merely expressed his belief that the right hon. Baronet had hastily adopted a decision calculated to be attended with injurious effects.

MR. H. A. HERBERT said, the provision, whatever its merits or demerits, had been before the House since the beginning of the Session; his right hon. Friend could not, therefore, be charged fairly with practising any surprise upon the House. The hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Maguire) had taunted the right hon. Baronet with his inexperience, but he ventured to assert that the description given by that hon. Member of the union workhouses of Ireland, as regarded the condition and education of the younger inmates, was not warranted by the actual state of those establishments. Children in the generality of Irish workhouses were better clothed, better educated, and better fed than the children of the corresponding classes outside.

SIR ROBERT PEEL said, the very fact of his having introduced the limit of five years into the Bill was conclusive proof that he had no such intention as that attributed to him by his right hon. Friend opposite. The Bill had lain upon the table of the House since the beginning of the Session, and no question had been raised. The words were also contained in the Bill of 1860. The words were originally introduced in consequence of the recommendation of the noble Lord to extend the age from two or three years.

LORD NAAS said, what he wanted to know was whether the meaning that had been put upon the words in question was correct-whether children might be sent to institutions of a charitable character

children out to private families or otherwise could be called a system of extended outdoor relief he could not understand. With respect to the moral advantages of removing children from the workhouse there could be no doubt, and his own experience convinced him that workhouse

all over the country? It was most important that that point should be decided, because upon it depended the question whether an entirely new system should be introduced in connection with the Irish Poor Law. Such an intention did not exist in the former Bill, and was never entertained by any Member of the Com-training could never succeed in bringing mittee. He should be inclined to move children up to a moral level with those the postponement of the clause, because if who were trained out of the workhouse. the construction that had been placed upon The College of Physicians in Dublin had it for the first time was correct, it would expressed their strong approval, on sanibe necessary to add other clauses to the tary grounds, of the proposal, and the Bill. He had heard nothing to induce Committee might be sure that boards of him to change his opinion that it was de- guardians would not use such a permission sirable to extend the age, but he was not unless they believed it to be for the good prepared to say that the guardians should of the children themselves. When the have power to send children to charitable right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cardwell) was institutions. He could not at all admit Secretary for Ireland, the full force of the that children were better kept in work- Government was brought to bear in favour houses than in respectable homes. Those of the proposal; but now, he presumed, educated in workhouses might have more the full force of the Government would be literary learning, but they were not in so directed against it. How, under the cirgood a position for social or moral training cumstances, the Chancellor of the Duchy as those who were placed out. would vote he did not know.

SIR GEORGE GREY said, he would MR. COGAN said, he should support admit, that if the construction to which the the grant to boards of guardians of the noble Lord had called attention were the permissive power. On grounds of humatrue construction, it would very much dis-nity, for the sake of the children's health, tort the Bill. He thought, however, that as well as of economy to the ratepayers, it was obvious such was not the case, be- it was equally desirable. If they were cause if the limit of five years was main- brought up out of the workhouse, the chiltained, the provisions of the English Bill, dren would soon be absorbed into the to which reference had been made, could labouring class, and on every account he not possibly apply to children under the greatly regretted that the policy sanctioned clause. If those provisions were covertly by his predecessor had not been followed extended to Ireland by the clause, he by the present Secretary for Ireland. It thought it would be an unworthy mode of was not in that case alone that Irishmen proceeding; but if that were the case, it had reason to regret that the right hon. would be necessary to insert clauses to Gentleman (Mr. Cardwell) was not still give boards of guardians complete control Secretary for Ireland. over the establishments to which children might be sent. He was not prepared to say that the words "or otherwise " might not allow children to be sent to other places than to private families. But the whole importance of those words depended upon the preliminary question what children in workhouses did not cease at should be the age beyond which children the age of five years. It extended to should not be sent out of the workhouse.higher ages. It was impossible to bring If the age was limited to five years, there up children so well in these public estabcould be no danger; but if extended to lishments as among the mass of the poputwelve, then these words would want ex-lation. planation by additional clauses.

MAJOR O'REILLY said, he hoped the Committee would consent to give the discretionary power to the Poor Law guardians to allow children under twelve years of age to be brought up out of the workhouse. The greater average mortality of

MR. MONSELL said, he could not understand how extending the age to twelve would be extending the powers of boards of guardians to grant outdoor relief. That power they had now in some cases, but how a discretionary power to send Lord Naas

MR. HASSARD said, he should support the Amendment upon both moral and social grounds, believing that children would be better brought up outside the workhouse than in.

MR. MORE O'FERRALL said, he would suggest the omission of the words

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"or otherwise," and an extension of the | Member for the University of Dublin (Mr.
time from five to twelve years.
Whiteside) and the noble Lord the Mem-
ber for Cockermouth (Lord Naas), that
if the words "or otherwise" were omit-
ted, there should be an extension of the
terms. He should, therefore, move that the
following words be added to the clause :-
"Provided always that the guardians of the
poor may, with consent of the Poor Law
Commissioners, continue such relief from

LORD NAAS said, that if the power were strictly limited to children put out to nurse in the country, they ought to adopt the longer time. If there were other considerations, they might extend the time now, with the understanding that any necessary modifications should be made upon bringing up the report. MR. KER observed, that without know-year to year, until the child attain the age ing the meaning of the words" or other-of ten years, should the guardians consider wise" it was impossible to know how to that such extension of outdoor relief be necessary for the preservation of the child's health."


SIR ROBERT PEEL said, the question was, whether it should be five years or twelve years. Whatever the Committee determined upon, he was determined to adhere to five years.

MR. WHITESIDE said, that, looking forward to the probability of litigation and vexation from the presence of the words" or otherwise," he would propose that they should be struck out, and that the longer period should be adopted, with some limitation as to expense.

MR. LEFROY said, he considered the extension of the time would be the most injurious to the interests of the country, and he should support the five years against the twelve.

LORD JOHN BROWNE said, he did not regret that the words "or otherwise " were in the clause. It was much better that the children should be kept in some public institution, instead of being sent to the dirty, filthy cabins in which they would assuredly be brought up.

COLONEL GREVILLE said, he wanted an explanation of the words " or other


MR. HENNESSY said, he would ap

MR. VINCENT SCULLY said, he wished to ask whether he was to under-peal to the Government not to take advanstand, that should the Committee deter- tage of the misconception, which had obmine on twelve, instead of five years, the viously occurred through a mistake mado right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary by the Chief Secretary. would resign office?

SIR GEORGE GREY said, that it was impossible on that occasion to deal with a phrase which had already been passed. On the report, however, it would be quite competent for any hon. Member to move the omission of the words "or otherwise," and the extension of the term. Of course, he gave no opinion as to the propriety of such a course.

MR. HENNESSY said, that if the word "five" were retained, he would oppose the Bill at every stage.

Amendment proposed,

At the end of the Clause, to add the words "Provided always, That the Guardians of the Poor may, with consent of the Poor Law Commissioners, continue such relief from year to year until the child attain the age of ten years, should the guardians consider that such extension of outdoor relief be necessary for the preservation of the child's health."

Question put, "That the word ' 'five'
stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: · - Ayes 74;
Noes 33: Majority 41.

MR. WHITESIDE said, he wished to clear up a misconception on the part of the hon. Member. He had certainly remarked, that if the words" or otherwise" were erased from the clause, he was willing to vote for an extension of the term. The hon. Member for Mayo, however, reduced the matter to its original confusion. The right hon. Baronet the Chief Secretary also adhered with tenacity to the words of the clause, not being aware, as the Home Secretary appeared to be, of their legal force. Under those circumstances, he was obliged to vote for the clause.

MR. COGAN said, he could not but express the surprise which he, and others. near him, felt at the result of the division. He understood there was a sort of agreement with the right hon. and learned

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of his own Bill, when up rose the right hon. Baronet and stated that what he meant was not that children should be out at wet-nurse at five years of age, and he said something about the mothers of deserted children. The right hon. and learned Member for Dublin made a proposal, which the hon. Member for Kildare was ready on behalf of the Roman Catholic body to accept, when again up started the Chief Secretary, and prevented the matter from being brought to a satisfactory conclusion. The right hon. Gentleman might have admitted that he had made a mistake, and have offered to strike out the words on the report; but he had chosen to take an opposite course, which was exceedingly to be regretted. After the evidence before them, and seeing that it had been acknowledged that 47 per cent of the children died in the workhouses, if that Bill went to Ireland unamended, the House would be stultifying itself. He would therefore move-what he believed to be a very moderate proposition-that these words be added at the end of the clause, namely

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"The guardians of the poor may, with the consent of the Commissioners, continue such relief from year to year, until the child attain the age of nine years." The continuance of such relief until the age of twelve years had been sanctioned by a Select Committee of that House, and also by a majority of the House in the year 1860, in which majority there voted the noble Lord at the head of the Government, the then Chief Secretary, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Home Secretary, the Secretary of State for War, and several other Gentle-vation of the child's health."

men on the Treasury bench, and also the noble Lord the Member for Cockermouth (Lord Naas), who might be said to represent Irish opinion on the Opposition side of the House. Why, then, had the proposal that the relief should be continued till the age of ten been now defeated? A mistake had been made by a Member of the Government, of which the Government had taken advantage to defeat the proposal. Three or four hours before, the right hon. Baronet stated that the unfortunate words about which so much had been said, meant that the children were to be sent to certain asylums in the north of Ireland. [Sir ROBERT PEEL: I deny that.] He was bound to accept the right hon. Gentleman's denial; but he appealed to the Committee whether he did not distinctly say that the words in the clause meant that the children might be sent to certain charitable institutions in different parts of Ireland. He thought that he said "the north." The right hon. Baronet loved the north. It had been discovered by his own colleagues that the Chief Secretary was not right in his interpretation Mr. Beamish

"Provided always that the guardians of the poor may, with the consent of the Poor Law Commissioners, continue such relief from year to year until the child attains the age of nine years, should the guardians consider that such extension of outdoor relief is necessary for the preser

THE CHAIRMAN said, he had some doubts whether the Motion of the hon. Gentleman was not an evasion of the rule of the House which forbade the same question being moved twice at the same stage. At the same time, he was not prepared to say that the difference between nine and ten years was not a substantial one, and he thought he should best discharge his duty by resolving any doubt that he might have in favour of discussion.

SIR ROBERT PEEL said, that although he believed five to be the age up to which children should be put out in the manner proposed by the Bill, he should be sorry to run the risk of having the measure, which was likely to do so much good if passed, destroyed after all the pains that had been bestowed upon it. He was therefore willing to agree to an honourable compromise in the matter; and as the College of Physicians had expressed an opinion in favour of the age being extended, that afforded him an opportunity of making a concession, which he did most freely. He was prepared to yield to what appeared to be the sense of the

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