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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT. --$-- HOUSE OF COMMONS.—"WEDNESDAY. The SPEAKER was in his place at twelve o'clock, but twenty-five minutes elapsed before a sufficient number of members were in attendance to constitute a House. THE PREVENTION OF BABY FARMING. Mr. CHARLEY moved the second reading of the Infant Protection Bill, and explained that it was framed upon the recommendation of a committee, which inquired into the subject last year. He complained that while in Eng- land there was a compulsory system for the registration of births and deaths, there was none in Scotland, and he attributed to this the fact that the per centage of illegiti- macy in Scotland was apparently larger than in England. The bill provided that persons who for a money consi- deration placed themselves in loco parentis towards two or more infants for more than a day, should obtain a certificate of fitness from a medical practitioner, minister of religion, or justice of the peace. It further re- qpired that a register should be kept by the persons so licensed of the infants entrusted to them that in case of death a coroner's inquest should be held, unless a certifi- cate was furnished by a registered medical practitioner that the death arose from natural causes, and that no burial should take place without a coroner's certificate. The penalties imposed were not excessive, the most severe being six months' imprisonment. The exceptions, from the Bill included relatives, guardians and j^arents of in- fants, persons who took children from abroad to nurse for hire, infants' homes, public orphanages, and pauper chil- dren boarded out. No demand would be made upon the public purse, because the proposal for a system of inspec- tion was abandoned and no license fees would be required to be paid. Mr. HURST criticised the provisions of the Bill, and said the measures would require careful revision in committee. He warned the House that they miht run into the danger in this kind of legislation of throwing the shield and authority of the Legislature over baby farming institu- tions, which it should be their object to discourage and put down. Mr. KINNAIRD, Dr. DALRUIPLE and Dr. BREWER sup- ported the Bill. Mr. WALPOLE was of opinion that the provisions of the measure ought to be made more stringent, or they would fail to remedy the evils complained of. From 80 to 90 par cent. of all illegitimate children were put out to nurse, and what became of the majority of them after- wards was never known. He suggested that the Bill might be passed, if the President of the Poor Law Board would make provision for the compulsory registration of births and deaths Mr. BRUCE said the Local Government Board was at present engaged in considering the question of registration, with a view of legislating upon it, and he would under- take that Mr. Walpole's suggestions should receive atten- tion before the Bill went into committee. Mr. HENLEY expressed the fear that legislation of this character, instead of effecting a saving of infant life, would lead to more of these children being put out to nurse and never being heard of again. Dr. PLAYFAIR urged that before they could strike at the reot of the evil they must reform the laws of bastards, the laws for punishing seduction, and the laws for the registration of births and the verification of deaths. The mortality among these infants arose from two causes- criminal negligence and ignorant negligence, the latter being the most prevalent, owing to the fact that nurses in the lower ranks of life really understood nothing of the requirements of the children under their charge; but the result of the scandal of the present system was, that no respectable woman would enter into the trade. This diffi- culty would be removed by the passing of the present Bill, and, therefore, although it did not go as far as he wished, he should support it. Mr. WINTERBOTHAM said the Government did not ob- ject to the second reading of the Bill; but he had not much faith that it would remove or even mitigate the evil complained of with regard to the criminal part of the question. The Bill was then read a second time. THE EDUCATION OF THE DEAF AND DUMB Mr. VVIIEELHOUSE moved the second reading of a Bill for the education of blind, deaf, and mute children. He stated that the provisions of the Bill were identical with those of the measure introduced last year. The object of the Bill was to render compulsory, either upon the Poor-law Boards or the School Boards of the king dom, the education of all blind, deaf, and dumb children, who. by themselves or their parents and guardians,, were unable to make provision for their own education. Mr. HIBBERT opposed the Bill upon the same grounds as those on which he opposed the measure last session. He said he should be very glad to see some provision made for the education of this unfortunate class of per- sons, but he could not agree with the mode proposed in the Bill. It entirely changed the principle on which Poor-law relief had hitherto been granted, and introduced the new one of maintaining, at the expense of the rates, persons who were not paupers. If this principle were introduced with regard to blind, deaf, and dumb persons, he saw no reason why it should not be extended to the case of cripples and lunatics. He moved that the Bill be read a second time on that day six months. Mr. SYMAN also opposed the Bill. Mr. McLAREN asked if any provision had been made for the education of the blind, deaf, and dumb under the Elementary Education Act. Mr. W. E. FORSTER said it was the business of the Privy Council to point out to districts where there was a deficiency of Education, and that it was the duty of the School Boards to provide it; but beyond that they could not go. The School Boards had power under the Act to make provision for the education of these children but he did not think the Privy Council could fairly be asked to demand that the School Boards should make provision. Sir D. CORRIGAN strongly opposed the Bill. Mr. WHEELHOUSE replied that the Bill was negatived without a division. ADULTERATION OF FOOD BILL. Mr. MUNTZ moved the second reading of the Adul- teration of Food and Drugs Bill. He said he should not persevere with it if the Bill of Mr. Stansfield on the same subject passed. After a brief conversation, the Bill was read a second time. MUNICIPAL OFFICER'S SUPERANNUATION BILL. Mr. RATHBONE moved the second reading of the Municipal Officers' Superannuation Bill. He said he introduced the Bill not so much for the sake of the officers interested as to secure economy and efficiency but he pointed out that the principle of superannuation was recognized in every other branch of the public Bervice. Mr. RYLANDS moved that the Bill be read a second time on that day six months. He deprecated the adoption of a principle which was repudiated by all the large mer- cantile firms in the country. The servants of private bodies were compelled to provide for their old age and provident habits and it was for the public interest that a large body of officials should be superannuated. The retirement of a considerable number of public officers at middle age from so-called ill-health, become a scandal, and he opposed the extension of a the system to the country generally. Mr. DICKENSON seconded the motion. 0 The Bill was supported by Mr. Birley, Mr. Melly, Mr. Graves, and Mr. Alderman Liwrance and opposed by Mr. J. Feilden and Mr. Goldsmid. Mr. BRUCE supported the Bill, but was of opinion that it was capable of amendment in Committee. Upon a division the numbers were—for the second reading, 99 against, 27 majority 72. The Bill was read a second time. Mr. SHERLOCK obtained leave to bring in a Bill to amend the laws relating to Municipal Corporations in Ireland. Mr. EYKYN gave notice that to-morrow he would ask the Government whether, in the absence of a public pro- secutor in this country, it was their intention to undertake the prosecution of the person who laid claim to the Tichborne estates, and such other persons as might be roved to have been implicated therein. The IJouse adjourned at 5.45.

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