§ MR. KENNY
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If it be true that a young female pauper named Keenan, servant to the matron of the Belfast Workhouse, and under her immediate control, was seduced by a male pauper named Reid, the result of which was a child was born; is it true that Reid was married to another female pauper, prior to Keenan's seduction, named Beckett; is it a fact that Keenan and her child, and Reid and his wife, continue paupers in the workhouse although able-bodied and fit for work, and that Reid holds a position of trust as pauper assistant in the workhouse, which enables him to have access to various parts of the institution; will he, as President of the Local Government Board, cause an inquiry to be made as to how many similar cases of imposition exist in the Belfast. Workhouse, and is he able to say whether the guardians have taken any steps to discontinue relief to these recipients, or to prevent a repetition of such disgraceful conduct?
§ MR. J. N. RICHARDSON
, before the right hon. Gentleman answered the Question, wished to ask him whether he had yet received from the hon. Member for Ennis (Mr. Kenny) the substantiation which he said he would endeavour to obtain of the very serious charges implied in the Question which the hon. Member put on June 1 against the Lurgan Board of Guardians and the officials of the Lurgan Union?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
No, Sir; no such communication has been received. In answer to the Question of the hon. Member for Ennis (Mr. Kenny), I have to say that it is true that a woman named Keenan had an illegitimate child, but there is no ground for supposing that the father of the child was in the workhouse. Charges of the character mentioned were made against a pauper named Reid by another pauper named James Cullen, who immediately afterwards left the workhouse, and has not since come forward to substantiate his charges, although every effort has been made to find him and bring him before the Guardians for the purpose. His statements were wholly unsupported, and their truth was distinctly denied by the persons concerned when the Guardians inquired into the matter last September. It is not the case that Reid holds a position of trust as a pauper-assistant. At the time when the charges referred to were made against him he was removed from the position which he formerly hold, and has not since been restored to it. He has lately been admitted into the infirmary.
§ MR. KENNY
With reference to the Question of the hon. Member for Armagh (Mr. J. N. Richardson), I may state that I am in communication with the gentleman who supplied me with information on that subject, and I expect to be able to substantiate the charge in a few days. At the same time, I have not the slightest doubt of the accuracy of the statement contained in my Question.