Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 provi

sion he should regard with sincere regret. Amendment proposed, in line 7, to leave True, the right hon. Gentleman the Chief out the word “five," and insert the word Secretary said, that that would not be " twelve."

the effect of the clause; but the question SIR ROBERT PEEL said, he felt com- was, what meaning a court of law would pelled to oppose the Amendment. The attach to the words. Committee agreed to the age of twelve

LORD JOHN BROWNE said, he hoped years by a majority of only one. He was that no change whatever would be made strongly in favour of the age of five years, in the clause, which stood as prepared by which answered every sanitary purpose, the Poor Law Commissioners. The whole and after that period the child would get question of sending children out of the an excellent education in the workouse workhouse was considered by the Select school. In enacting that children up to Committee as a sanitary one, and the age the

age of five years might be put out to of five years was fixed upon as that beyond nurse, “or otherwise,” he intended no which extensive mortality did not exist in reference to the establishment of institu- the Irish poorhouses. He held, therefore, tions for children throughout Ireland ; that to extend the time of nursing from five but he merely used the words because the to twelve years, would be to impose an phrase "to nurse” might be supposed to unnecessary burden upon the ratepayers. mean that the child was actually at the Children were well fed and well educated breast, and children five years old could in the workhouse, and in all respects were hardly be expected to be in that position. better treated than the children of some of Up to one or two years they would be at those who were taxed for their support. the breast, and then they would be taken If sent outside, they must necessarily care of until they attained the age of five. be placed with the very poorest class of

MR. MAGUIRE said, he believed the people, for none other would receive them; medical authorities in Ireland had given and, while they would be worse fed and it as their opinion that on mere sanitary worse clothed, in health, they would not grounds it was expedient that children be so well attended to in sickness as they should for a longer period than the first would be if allowed to remain in the five

years of their age be brought up out workhouse. A boy in the workhouse of the workhouse. He believed, too, that would be obliged to attend school every the last place in which a boy or girl day; whereas, outside, he might go as would receive an education calculated to seldom and as irregularly as he pleased. fit either for the daily duties of life was in The two objections which had been urged the workhouse. It was found from expe- to children being brought up in the workrience that young women trained there house — first, that they inevitably conwere entirely unsuited to become domestic tracted workhouse attachments, and were servants. For his own part, he felt the less likely afterwards to be absorbed in the strongest conviction that the future of industrial population; and, secondly, that Ireland depended to a great extent on the girls especially were apt to be contaminadecision at which the Committee might ted by association with women of bad chaarrive in reference to the Amendment. racter—were alike based on a totally false

MR. WHITESIDE said, he could not assumption, and showed in those who used concur in all the remarks of the last such arguments an entire ignorance of the speaker; but the hon. Gentleman had this system of classification which was carried in his favour—that in the opinion of the out in the workhouse, which rendered such Select Committee boards of guardians contamination literally impossible. The should be authorized to place pauper chil- question of outdoor relief had been referred dren out at nurse up to the age of twelve to. He believed, if granted, it would be years. If the words or otherwise"

the ruin of the country. should be inserted in the Bill and become MR. CARDWELL said, that the Resolaw, the result would be that the guar- solution of the Committee pointed entirely dians might send the children under to the putting out children to nurse up to their care, not only to schools, but to the age of twelve years. He observed that other institutions – such as convents Question 621, as put by him, was in these to be educated at the public expense.

wordsMr. Hennessy

" The seventh clause is one to give to the principle, as that guardians, merely at board of guardians the power of relieving any their own will and caprice, should send orphan or deserted children out of the workhouse children to schools of which nobody knew by placing such children out to nurse or otherwise, according to their discretion."

anything. He would be just as unwilling The words " or otherwise,” therefore, did to intrust such a wide discretion to å occur in the clause ; but no attention ap

Protestant board of guardians in the north peared to have been directed to them. of Ireland as to a Roman Catholic board of But the question which followed showed guardians in the south. He hoped the distinctly what were the grounds which right hon. Gentleman before the debate the Chief Commissioner recommended, closed would abandon the interpretation and which mainly induced the Committee which, doubtless hastily, he had put upon to adopt the clause. He would read Ques

the words. tion 624, as put by him to Mr. Power

MR. H. A. HERBERT said, he was “ There are two reasons, then—first, a medical surprised at the excitement which theso reason ; and then the moral reason--namely, the simple words had occasioned. It would desirability of cultivating that family attachment almost seem as if his right hon. Friend which grows up in a child, when cared for, even had been a party to some corrupt compact. in a family not its own.”

MR. GEORGE said, he should be the That was really the principle of the con last person to insinuate anything of the troversy, so far as his recollection served kind. He merely expressed his belief that him, that took place in the Committee. the right hon. Baronet had hastily adopted There were on a division six Members | a decision calculated to be attended with who thought it right to stop with the injurious effects. medical reason, which terminated at five MR. H. A. HERBERT said, the proviyears; and there were the majority of sion, whatever its merits or demerits, had seven, who thought the moral reason ought been before the House since the beginning also to be considered. The former, having of the Session; his right hon. Friend could regard to the medical reason, supported not, therefore, be charged fairly with practhe original proposal of the Poor Law tising any surprise upon the House. The Commissioners - Damely, five years; and hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Maguire) the latter, considering the desirability of had taunted the right hon. Baronet with cultivating the family attachment, pre- his inexperience, but he ventured to assert railed, authorizing boards of guardians that the description given by that hon. to place orphan and destitute children Member of the union workhouses of Ireout to nurse up to the age of twelve years, land, as regarded the condition and eduwhen they should think it right to do so. cation of the younger inmates, was not

MR. POLLARD-URQUHART observed, warranted by the actual state of those that the Amendment did not make it at all establishments. Children in the generality compulsory on boards of guardians to ex- of Irish workhouses were better clothed, tend outdoor relief to children of twelve better educated, and better fed than the years old. They were only allowed to do children of the corresponding classes out50; and he did not think the power would side. be abused.

SIR ROBERT PEEL said, the very MR. GEORGE said, the question before fact of his having introduced the limit of the Select Committee was, whether-till five years into the Bill was conclusive five years or any other period—it would proof that he had no such intention as be safe to intrust boards of guardians that attributed to him by his right hon. with a discretion to put children out to Friend opposite. The Bill had lain upon aurse; but the great preponderance of the table of the House since the beginning evidence was that, after five years, espe of the Session, and no question had been cially in an educational point of view, raised. The words were also contained in they were better in the poorhouse. The the Bill of 1860. The words were origisubtle construction which had first been nally introduced in consequence of the reput upon the words “or otherwise,” in commendation of the noble Lord to extend Clanse 9, by the right hon. Baronet the the age from two or three years. Secretary for Ireland, had never been con- LORD NAAS said, what he wanted to templated by the Committee of last year. know was whether the meaning that had It would be a most unfitting and indeco- been put upon the words in question was rous way, under cover of two such words, correct, whether children might be sent to introduce a new and highly important to institutions of a charitable character all over the country. It was most im- children out to private families or other. portant that that point should be decided, wise could be called a system of extended because upon it depended the question outdoor relief he could not understand. whether an entirely new system should be With respect to the moral advantages of introduced in connection with the Irish removing children from the workhouse Poor Law. Such an intention did not there could be no doubt, and his own exexist in the former Bill, and was never perience convinced him that workhouse 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, cducated 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 bcen followed extended to Ireland by the clauso, 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 MAJOR O'REILLY said, he hoped the might be sent. He was not prepared to Committee would consent to give the dissay that the words " or otherwise ” might cretionary power to the Poor Law guarnot allow children to be sent to other dians to allow children under twelve years places than to private families. But the of age to be brought up out of the workwhole importance of those words depend- house. The greater average mortality of ed 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.

MR. HASSARD said, he should support MR. MONSELL said, he could not the Amendment upon both moral and understand how extending the age to social grounds, believing that children twelve would be extending the powers of would be better brought up outside the boards of guardians to grant outdoor relief. workhouse than in. That power they had now in some cases, MR. MORE O’FERRALL said, he but how a discretionary power to send would suggest the omission of the words

Lord Naas

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

" 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 MemLORD NAAS said, that if the power ber for Cockermouth (Lord Naas), that were strictly limited to children put out if the words “ or otherwise" were omitto nurse in the country, they ought to ted, there should be an extension of the adopt the longer time. If there were terms. He should, therefore, move that the other considerations, they might extend following words be added to the clause :the time now, with the understanding “Provided always that the guardians of the that any necessary modifications should be poor may, with consent of the Poor Law made upon bringing up the report. Commissioners, continue such relief from

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 vote.

necessary for the preservation of the child's SIR ROBERT PEEL said, the question health." was, whether it should be five years or

Amendment proposed, twelve years. Whatever the Committee determined upon, he was determined to At the end of the Clause, to add the words adhere to five years.

Provided always, That the Guardians of the

Poor may, with consent of the Poor Law Commis. MB. WHITESIDE said, that, looking sioners, continue such relief from year to year forward to the probability of litigation until the child attain the age of ten years, should and vexation from the presence of the the guardians consider that such extension of outwords “ or otherwise," he would propose

door relief be necessary for the preservation of

the child's health." that they should be struck out, and that the longer period should be adopted, with MR. WHITESIDE said, he wished to some limitation as to expense.

clear up a misconception on the part of MR. LEFROY said, he considered the the hon. Member. He had certainly reextension of the time would be the most marked, that if the words “ or otherwiso” injurious to the interests of the country, were erased from the clause, he was willand he should support the five years ing to vote for an extension of the term. against the twelve.

The hon. Member for Mayo, however, reLORD JOHN BROWNE said, he did duced the matter to its original confusion. not regret that the words “or otherwise" The right hon. Baronet the Chief Secretary were in the clause. It was much better also adhered with tenacity to the words of that the children should be kept in some the clause, not being aware, as the Home public institution, instead of being sent Secretary appeared to be, of their legal to the dirty, filthy cabins in which they force. Under those circumstances, he was would assuredly be brought up.

obliged to vote for the clause. MR. VINCENT SCULLY said, he MR. HENNESSY said, he would apwished 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 obminc 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 COLONEL GREVILLE said, he wanted impossible on that occasion to deal with an explanation of the words " or other- a phrase which had already been passed. Wise."

On the report, however, it would be quite MR. HENNESSY said, that if the word competent for any hon. Member to move "five” were retained, he would oppose the omission of the words “or otherwise,” the Bill at every stage.

and the extension of the term. Of course, Question put, “That the word “five' he gave no opinion as to the propriety of

'

such a course. stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided : - Ayes 74; Question put, "That those words be Noes 33 : Majority 41.

there added."

The Committee divided : MB. COGAN said, he could not but ex. Noes 57: Majority 20.

Ayes 37; press the surprise which he, and others near him, felt at the result of the division. MR. BEAMISH said, that s there was He understood there was a sort of agree- no disposition to meet the reasonable rement with the right hơn. and learned quests of Irish Members, and with a view

1

to give Her Majesty's Government, and of his own Bill, when up rose the right especially the noble Lord at the head of hon. Baronet and stated that what he it, the opportunity of considering what meant was not that children should be course would be most advantageous to the out at wet-nurse at fire years of age, and progress of legislation for Ireland, he he said something about the mothers of should move that the Chairman should deserted children. The right hon. and report progress.

learned Member for Dublin made a proMotion made, and Question put, “That posal, which the hon. Member for Kildare the Chairman do report Progress, and was ready on behalf of the Roman Catholic ask leave to sit again."

body to accept, when again up started the The Committee divided : - Ayes 25;

Chief Secretary, and prevented the matter Noes 62: Majority 37.

from being brought to a satisfactory conMR. HENNESSY said, that as the ob. have admitted that he had made a mis

clusion. The right hon. Gentleman might ject of Irish Members had been defeated take, and have offered to strike out the in consequence of a mistake committed by words on the report; but he had chosen a Member of the Government, he should to take an opposite course, which was exmove, as the first of a series of Amend- ceedingly to be regretted. After the eviments, the addition to the clause of the dence before them, and seeing that it had words

been acknowledged that 47 per cent of the "The guardians of the poor may, with the children died in the workhouses, if that consent of the Commissioners, continue such re- Bill went to Ireland unamended, the House lief from year to ycar, until the child attain the age of nine years.

He would

would be stultifying itself. The continuance of such relief until therefore move-what he believed to be the age of twelve years had been sanc

a very moderate proposition—that these tioned by a Select Committee of that words be added at the end of the clause, House, and also by a majority of the namely, House in the year 1860, in which majo

“Provided always that the guardians of the rity there voted the noble Lord at the poor may, with the consent of the Poor Law head of the Government, the then Chief year until the child attains the age of nine years,

Commissioners, continue such relief from year to Secretary, the Chancellor of the Exche-should the guardians consider that such extenquer, the Home Secretary, the Secretary sion of outdoor relief is necessary for the preserof State for War, and several other Gentle- vation of the child's health.” men on the Treasury bench, and also the THE CHAIRMAN said, he had some noble Lord the Member for Cockermouth doubts whether the Motion of the hon. (Lord Naas), who might be said to repre- Gentleman was not an evasion of the rule sent Irish opinion on the Opposition side of the House which forbade the same of the House. Why, then, had the proposal question being moved twice at the same that the relief should be continued till stage. At the same time, he was not prethe age of ten been now defeated ? A pared to say that the difference between mistake had been made by a Member of nine and ten years was not a substantial the Government, of which the Government one, and he thought he should best dishad taken advantage to defeat the pro- charge his duty by resolving any doubt posal. Three or four hours before, the that he might have in favour of discussion. right hon. Baronet stated that the unfor- Sir ROBERT PEEL said, that although tunate words about which so much had he believed five to be the age up to which been said, mcant that the children were to children should be put out in the manner be sent to certain asylums in the north of proposed by the Bill, he should be sorry Ireland. [Sir ROBERT PEEL: I deuy to run the risk of having the measure, that.] He was bound to accept the right which was likely to do so much good if hon. Gentleman's denial; but he appealed passed, destroyed after all the pains that to the Committee whether he did not dis- had been bestowed upon it. He was tinctly say that the words in the clause therefore willing to agree to an honourmeant that the children might be sent to able compromise in the matter ; and as certain charitable institutions in different the College of Physicians had expressed parts of Ireland. He thought that he an opinion in favour of the age being exsaid “ the north." The right hon. Baronet tended, that afforded him an opportunity loved the north. It had been discovered of making a concession, which he did by his own colleagues that the Chief Se- most freely. He was prepared to yield to cretary was not right in his interpretation what appeared to be the sense of the

Mr. Beamish

« PreviousContinue »