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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 83

Office of Inspector of Reformatory and Industrial Schools, 3, Delahay Street, S.W. 31st January, 1885

Office of Inspector of Reformatory and Industrial Schools, 3, Delahay Street, S.W.

Sir,—I am directed by the Secretary, Sir William Harcourt, to inform you that difficulties having arisen in giving effect to the circular of November 22nd, 1884, the Secretary of State desires it to be understood that it is not his view that a vicious or criminal parent should be permitted to exercise a veto on the disposal of a child who has been brought up in a Reformatory or Industrial School. But he is of opinion that before a child is so far removed from home, as must be the case where he is sent on sea or coast service, or emigrated, or enlisted in the army or the navy, notice should be given to the parents, if it is possible to do so, in order that they may have an opportunity of showing, if they are in a position to do it, that they are not unfit to have the charge of their children. It is desirable that in all such cases a careful inquiry should be made into the character of the parents and the condition of the home.

The Secretary of State therefore desires that before any application is made to him for the discharge of a boy from a Reformatory or Industrial School for sea or coast service, emigration, or enlistment in the army or navy, notice should be sent by the Managers to the parents where practicable, and the parents should be informed that any representation they have to make on the subject should be sent within a limited time to the Managers, who will submit the same to the Secretary of State for his consideration.

The Managers will, in the event of objections on the part of the parents, state their own observations on the case, in order that the Secretary of State may decide whether the objection is one which ought to be allowed to prevail. The same course of procedure should be adopted with regard to the discharge of girls for emigration.

This circular is to be read as explanatory of and supplementary to the circular of November 22nd, 1884.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

W. Inglis.

H. M. Inspector of Reformatory and Industrial School. The Manager,—Industrial School.