Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 56

"Middlesex Industrial School, Feltham, "21st April, 1884

"Middlesex Industrial School, Feltham,

"Dear Sir,

"I regret that several pressing matters have delayed my reply to yours of the 15th instant.

"The longer I live, the more I am convinced that the first and primary point to attain, in order to render the Reformatory and Industrial School System in any way a satisfactory success, is to abolish the power of control of the parents of the children detained in them, absolutely and entirely, and to substitute that of the Managers, in their place, subject to such qualifying conditions as may seem desirable.

"When you have cleared the ground by this Act—and an Act with one clause would accomplish it—a system of classification could be easily proceeded with.

"Schools might be arranged as follows:—(1) Reformatories, for children over 14 and under 16 years of age; for vicious children between 12 and 14:—these last however to be sent to certain special Reformatories. (2) Industrial Schools, for children under 14 found wandering, vagrant, &c., to be sent to one set of schools, and those charged with theft to another set, so as to keep the two types of children separate and distinct.

"As to internal arrangement I always think that system is best which is best managed. I know of large schools excellently managed, and of schools on the so-called family system in an infamous state, and vice versa.

"But what I hasten to arrive at is the result to be attained by the abolition of paternal control, and it is the one on which the whole system hangs, viz.:—the ultimate disposal of the children.

"My panacea is a well-established system of Emigration, and a large development, in the Colonies, of the Boarding-out System, to be extended to all Industrial Schools, retaining no child in England, except under very special circumstances, after 15, but at that age sending them to small home-like Dep—oring;ts in the Colonies, where they could be easily placed out in suitable situations;—the demand for children of that age, previously trained to habits of industry, is simply without limit.

"The disposal of Boys from Reformatories requires much more discrimination: some, no doubt, should be emigrated, but some would, if sent, bring discredit on the system, and the best provision for these, if they could be got to stick to it, would be the sea; in any case no child should be detained in a reformatory over 18 years of age; many are now so detained until 21! and I consider this to be productive of the greatest evils.

"But abolish parental control and twenty times as much good will be effected than is the case at present-socially, financially and morally.

"I hope you will some day find time to run down and pay us another visit; about June the place looks very pretty.

"Very faithfully yours,

"J. Rowland Brooks.

"To Mr. W. Tallack."