§ Mr. SUMMERBELL
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been drawn to a resolution passed at a meeting of the Ashton-under-Lyne Trades and Labour Council, on 15th September last, protesting against excessive flogging at the Ashton-under-Lyne workhouse; whether he is aware that it is alleged that one boy was flogged on the bare back, in the presence of two doctors, with the result that the boy's back was badly cut and bruised; whether he has yet caused inquiry to be made into the circumstances of this or other recent cases of alleged flogging at Ashton-under-Lyne workhouse; and, if so, whether he can state the result of such inquiry?
§ The PRESIDENT of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. John Burns)
I received a copy of the resolution referred to, and I communicated with the guardians on the subject. I found that complaint had been made to the workhouse committee as to the punishment inflicted on two boys, one of whom received six and the other four strokes from a birch rod for absconding from the workhouse. The committee were unable to see the boy referred to in the question, as he had left the union; but they examined the other boy, and failed to find any evidence of severe punishment. It had been given in the presence of the master and of the medical officer. The matter was not brought to my notice until 14th September last, although it occurred on 24th July. In all the circumstances, it did not appear to me that advantage was likely to arise from 841 any attempt further to investigate the matter.
§ Mr. J. WARD
Are we to understand from the answer of the right hon. Gentleman that guardians can indiscriminately flog boys under their control?
§ Mr. SUMMERBELL
Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman will take steps to see such things do not take place in the future?
§ Mr. W. THORNE
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman does not think the same remark applies now as when he was a young boy?
§ Mr. W. P. BYLES
May I ask whether the Local Government Board is going to encourage or discourage the cutting and bruising of boys as stated in the printed question, simply because they leave the workhouse?