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inspectors, and, with hardly an exception, the officials who had enjoyed the best opportunities of judging expressed themselves warmly in its favour. 'I am decidedly satisfied, the inspector of Greenock remarked, in a letter which may be taken as a sample of the rest, with the results obtained by the boarding-out system. In the first place, the physical development of the children is more effectually secured. As is well known, many of the children who fall on the board for support are of a delicate, diseased constitution ; to these, removal to the country brings strength, health, and activity. In my experience of the administration of the poor-law for the last twenty-five years, I have found that boarding in the poorhouse or similar institutions has never produced these results. Another beneficial result to the children themselves is the improved moral training they receive when boarded out, as compared with their up-bringing in a poorhouse. The parochial authorities here select thoroughly respectable, good-living people as nurses. Children placed in close companionship with such guardians, daily witnessing their exemplary conduct and consistent lives, and trained to habits of industry, economy, and sobriety under their care, cannot fail to be influenced for good; and in after-life it is a very rare occurrence to hear of them again as paupers.

It was natural enough that poor-law reformers south of the Tweed should be anxious to secure a trial for a system which had worked so advantageously in the North. Mrs. Nassau Senior, Sir Charles Trevelyan, Miss Hill, and others, strenuously exerted themselves to induce the authorities to adopt it. A measure of success attended their efforts; and I was under the impression that it was slowly but surely making way among the English unions. But Sir Charles Trevelyan informs me that its general introduction is still bitterly resisted by the advocates of workhouse and district schools; and he has sent me a correspondence which has lately appeared in “The Charity Organisation Reporter,' between Mr. Tufnell and his friends on the one hand, and the advocates of boarding-out on the other. “There would be real public advantage,' Sir Charles is good enough

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in your closing the correspondence with a letter giving a short general view of the system and its results in Scotland; for all admit that it has been carried on there on a scale and for a length of time to make it a real example to England. . . . A large number of persons interested in such questions in England are watching this trial of strength with the avowed prominent antagonist of what is to us a new institution, and its fate in these southern parts will therefore in some considerable degree depend upon the result of the correspondence. The subject, however, proved too large for a letter, and the present paper may possibly be accepted as my reply to the appeal.

The objections taken by Mr. Tufnell to the Scotch system were dealt with by me in the volume to which I have referred (pp. 58-66); and on looking at the correspondence in the Reporter, I find

, that he has reproduced in a vague general way most of the charges which he formerly made, and which I fancied had been conclusively

4

disposed of. These, in so far as I am concerned, must be allowed to die a natural death,-if a writer on social economics will not look at the facts as they are presented in official documents, but only at the

facts' as they are evolved out of his own consciousness, there is nothing more to be said. The main contention that boarding-out increases the number of pauper children, 'by inducing relatives to throw them upon the parish with the view of getting them back with a weekly stipend,' entirely broke down. It was proved that in general the children are not boarded with relatives; that when boarded with relatives strict inquiry is made, and the test applied, before any assistance is given ; and that the number of orphan and deserted children in Scotland supported by the rates is, when compared with England, exceptionally small. The more the figures are examined the

more reckless and unwarranted, I venture to think, will such accusations appear; but the one considerable objection now mainly insiste on, viz.—the failure of the system when tested by its results—is one to which from the nature of the case it is hardly possible to offer any perfectly conclusive reply,5

Mr. Tufnell says :The only outcome yet published of the boarding-out system comes from Scotland, where it has been long tried, and where it appears that of 900 boarded-out children 5 per cent. had failed. Now, this is a very large percentage—far larger than the outcome of the district, or even the small workhouse schools. These goo children in Scotland are all orphans, and of that class never more than i per cent. fail from the English district schools. The whole number of failures in the district schools is 3 per cent., of which I have given numerous proofs in the paper I read before the Social Science Congress in 1878, which I see you quote. It is well known by all conversant with the education of pauper children that the orphans almost invariably turn out well; the real difficulty arises with those who have parents, and are constantly fluctuating, and of these, the only really difficult class to manage, the boarding-out system takes no notice.6

* Mr. Tufnell contrasts the Scotch with the London pauperism ; and, through the courtesy of the Local Government Board, I am able to give the latest figures. The estimated population of London is about equal to that of Scotland, and the number of orphan or other children relieved without their parents in the Metropolis was

On July 1, 1878— 9,849 (of whom 9,265 were in the workhouse)

On July 1, 1879-10,179 (of whom 9,629 were in the workhouse) The number of orphan and deserted children chargeable in Scotland was

On May 14, 1878-5,985; and

On May 14, 1879–6,239. So that the number of orphan and deserted children relieved in Scotland is really not much more than one-half of the number relieved in London.

It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to point out once more that close habitual and vigilant supervision is the key-note of the system;' and yet this is a matter that cannot be too frequently insisted on. That the system of boarding-out, unless stringent and vigilant precautions are taken, may become a system of baby-farming,' is not to be denied. Mr. Tufnell asserts that such cases are numerous.' I can only say that during the twelve years I have been Secretary to the Board not one case of the kind, to the best of my recollection, has been brought before us.

* C. 0. Reporter, Jan. 22, 1880.

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inspectors, and, with hardly an exception, the officials who had enjoyed the best opportunities of judging expressed themselves warmly in its favour. I am decidedly satisfied,' the inspector of Greenock remarked, in a letter which may be taken as a sample of the rest,

with the results obtained by the boarding-out system. In the first place, the physical development of the children is more effectually secured. As is well known, many of the children who fall on the board for support are of a delicate, diseased constitution; to these, removal to the country brings strength, health, and activity. In my experience of the administration of the poor-law for the last twenty-five years, I have found that boarding in the poorhouse or similar institutions has never produced these results. Another beneficial result to the children themselves is the improved moral training they receive when boarded out, as compared with their up-bringing in a poorhouse. The parochial authorities here select thoroughly respectable, good-living people as nurses. Children placed in close companionship with such guardians, daily witnessing their exemplary conduct and consistent lives, and trained to habits of industry, economy, and sobriety under their care, cannot fail to be influenced for good; and in after-life it is a very rare occurrence to hear of them again as paupers.

It was natural enough that poor-law reformers south of the Tweed should be anxious to secure a trial for a system which had worked so advantageously in the North. Mrs. Nassau Senior, Sir Charles Trevelyan, Miss Hill, and others, strenuously exerted themselves to induce the authorities to adopt it. A measure of success attended their efforts; and I was under the impression that it was slowly but surely making way among the English unions. But Sir Charles Trevelyan informs me that its general introduction is still bitterly resisted by the advocates of workhouse and district schools; and he has sent me a correspondence which has lately appeared in 'The Charity Organisation Reporter,' between Mr. Tufnell and his friends on the one hand, and the advocates of boarding-out on the other. There would be real public advantage,' Sir Charles is good enough to say

6

...

in your closing the correspondence with a letter giving a short general view of the system and its results in Scotland; for all admit that it has been carried on there on a scale and for a length of time to make it a real example to England. . . . A large number of persons interested in such questions in England are watching this trial of strength with the avowed prominent antagonist of what is to us a new institution, and its fate in these southern parts will therefore in some considerable degree depend upon the result of the correspondence.

The subject, however, proved too large for a letter, and the present paper may possibly be accepted as my reply to the appeal.

The objections taken by Mr. Tufnell to the Scotch system were dealt with by me in the volume to which I have referred (pp. 58-66); and on looking at the correspondence in the Reporter,' I find that he has reproduced in a vague general way most of the charges which he formerly made, and which I fancied had been conclusively

disposed of. These, in so far as I am concerned, must be allowed to die a natural death,-if a writer on social economics will not look at the facts as they are presented in official documents, but only at the 'facts' as they are evolved out of his own consciousness, there is nothing more to be said. The main contention that boarding-out increases the number of pauper children, by inducing relatives to throw them upon the parish with the view of getting them back with a weekly stipend,' entirely broke down. It was proved that in general the children are not boarded with relatives; that when boarded with relatives strict inquiry is made, and the test applied, before any assistance is given; and that the number of orphan and deserted children in Scotland supported by the rates is, when compared with England, exceptionally small. The more the figures are examined the more reckless and unwarranted, I venture to think, will such accusations appear; but the one considerable objection now mainly insisted on, viz.—the failure of the system when tested by its results-is one to which from the nature of the case it is hardly possible to offer any perfectly conclusive reply.5

Mr. Tufnell says:

The only outcome yet published of the boarding-out system comes from Scotland, where it has been long tried, and where it appears that of 900 boarded-out children 5 per cent. had failed. Now, this is a very large percentage-far larger than the outcome of the district, or even the small workhouse schools. These 900 children in Scotland are all orphans, and of that class never more than 1 per cent. fail from the English district schools. The whole number of failures in the district schools is 3 per cent., of which I have given numerous proofs in the paper I read before the Social Science Congress in 1878, which I see you quote. It is well known by all conversant with the education of pauper children that the orphans almost invariably turn out well; the real difficulty arises with those who have parents, and are constantly fluctuating, and of these, the only really difficult class to manage, the boarding-out system takes no notice.6

'Mr. Tufnell contrasts the Scotch with the London pauperism; and, through the courtesy of the Local Government Board, I am able to give the latest figures. The estimated population of London is about equal to that of Scotland, and the number of orphan or other children relieved without their parents in the Metropolis was—

On July 1, 1878— 9,849 (of whom 9,265 were in the workhouse)
On July 1, 1879-10,179 (of whom 9,629 were in the workhouse)

The number of orphan and deserted children chargeable in Scotland was—

On May 14, 1878-5,985; and

On May 14, 1879-6,239.

So that the number of orphan and deserted children relieved in Scotland is really not much more than one-half of the number relieved in London.

It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to point out once more that close habitual and vigilant supervision is the key-note of the system;' and yet this is a matter that cannot be too frequently insisted on. That the system of boarding-out, unless stringent and vigilant precautions are taken, may become a system of baby-farming,' is not to be denied. Mr. Tufnell asserts that such cases are numerous.' I can only say that during the twelve years I have been Secretary to the Board not one case of the kind, to the best of my recollection, has been brought before us.

·

6

C. O. Reporter, Jan. 22, 1880.

It appears from a subsequent letter (February 26, 1880), that the 900 children here referred to are those described in a “ Report on the Orphan and Deserted Children boarded-out by the City Parish of Glasgow,' which was published in 1872. Mr. Tufnell might surely have gathered from the title of the Report that it included the deserted as well as the orphan children (yet he says: 'these 900 are all orphans !'); and he would have found on referring to the body of the Report that he had considerably overrated the proportion of failures, which was as nearly as possible at the rate of four per cent. It

may be well to point out that, in such a controversy, any available statistics of "results' must necessarily fail to do complete or even approximate justice to the system which we support. What we contend for is, that a finer and manlier type of character-a character not only more wholesome in itself, but better adapted to take its share in the actual work of the world—will be produced by a system which enables the child from its earliest years to lead a healthy and natural life. The children who, looking back on their childhood, can say, as in the old Scotch ballad,

We twa hae paidlt in the burn,

And pu'ed the gowans fine, will, we fancy, make better citizens and happier men than the children who have been secluded from infancy in vast institutions, where a monotonous discipline is enforced, where the domestic affections have no outlet, where the natural gaiety of infancy is discouraged, where the sense that handles daily life and keeps us all in order more or less is never called into exercise. But the science of statistics takes no note of such nice distinctions: until a man relapses into pauperism or becomes actively criminal, he must be tabulated as a

success.' So that the answers which the statistician furnishes cannot have any close relevancy to such an inquiry; it is an inquiry in the conduct of which common sense and common experience are the best guides.

At the same time, with this qualification, it may be admitted that we are naturally enough anxious to ascertain what in point of fact has become of the children who during the last quarter of a century have been brought up by the Scotch Poor Law Boards. Through the courtesy of the inspectors of the more populous parishes, I have lately obtained a good deal of information on this point, sufficiently specific for every practical purpose, and undoubtedly interesting and instructive. The facts have been mainly gathered from the parochial records; but in some cases where the ch Iren (or, to speak more accurately, the grown-up men and women who had been boarded-out in childhood) had not been lately heard of, fresh inquiry has been made for the purpose of bringing the information as far as possible up to date. The returns which I received embraced the following particulars :1. The number of children who had been boarded-out during the last twenty years.

2. The number still on the roll whose educa

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