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.CARMARTHEN I \ US, D THE…

" Boys from the Homes."

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Boys from the Homes." HOW CRIMINALS ARE MANU- FACTURED. AN APPROXIMATION TO SLAVERY. Once more all Euglish boy from tho u homes has come up before the local magistrates charged with theft. In fact, t'e majority of tho boys who do get into trouble ill this part of the country are from the homes; and as there aro probably a hundred Welsh boys in the district to every one of those imported from English schools, this points at once to some glaring defect in the system, by which hundreds aro yearly turned out of industrial schools and dumped down on the agricultural portions of Wales. Let us seo how the thing is worked. A boy is sent from one of the many institutions, which have a superfluous boy population to dispose of, to a local agent, who is required to find him a situation. The boys have been brought up in a large city-London, Liverpool, Manchester, or the like. They have, moreover, been brought up in a largo i"ll, ill which everything is regulated by clockwork. There is little roulll in their training for developing their individuality. They are never at home except they are in the company of tlireo or four hundred W:o themselves. Such a boy is sent down into Wales, and placed on a farm, which is half'-a-mile from next door, possibly a dozen or twenty miles from the nearest town, and three hundrod miles or so from any friends or relations whom lie may possess. He cannot associato with boys of his own class, for he does not understand their language, nor 9 11 they his. Drought up as he was, the solitude and the montonous life of the farm aro to him as depressing as the wastes of Sahara. Even supposing his master and mistress are kind—which they are in the majority of cases—he generally becomes fretful and discontented, and is ready to do anythiftg to get back to tho busy thorough- fares tilled with the cheerful hum of traffic. The boy is discontented he wants to leave. But how is he to do it? His wages for the year are E-3 or X--i. Clothes and boots he must find, and a few pence weekly he must have. As a result, In most cases, he never has a half-crown in his pocket. Even if he had half-a-crown, it wou't take him back to London and Liverpool. Such a journey by legitimate means is as mueh out of the question to him as a trip to San Francisco. As an usual result, he steals some of his master's money or property, and bolts." It is a very serious matter when a child, three hundred miles from home, and practically penniless, becomes disgusted with his surroundings—with every incentive to become disgusted. That this is tho case is borue out by the admission of the Vicar of Ncwehurch to the magistrates on Saturday—that the schools have no representative to look after the boys in the situations in which they are placed. The Rev H. G. Lawrence described this as tho" great flaw in the system." Such language is far too mild. It is the most conclusive evidence of the entire rottenness of the system. So evidently thought the Welsh Land Commissioneis, who in their report state The report that we received elsewhere (i c other ttiau iu Monmouthshire) were on the whole far from encouraging. Nor can we, indeed, voLdtr greitly at the result; the lads are thrown upon their resources to a deplorable degree, inasmuch as the common language of those among whom they dwell is Welsh, while they can speak English only, though many of them of necessity pick up the vernacular in a remarkably short time. So far as Welsh-speaking districts are concerned, ice think that the continuance of this method of dealiny with industrial larls iN fraught the graccst conxequenccx, unless it can be better regulated than at present, and some provision be made for the social and spiritual want of the monoglot toy, who are thus imported iuto the agricultural dist icts. So far I have only touched upon the aspect of tho case at the best. But there are masters who do not treat the boys well. Such a one will not ill-treat the local !fIcas badly even if he felt to inclined for the lad would leave him at a minute's notice, return home, and sue him in the County Court for his wages. Welsh farm-servants are clannish, and meet together, and know all about each other's treatment. Did a farmer fail in his duty to his hired-man he might have to do his own work, Tho local farm-servants have all their relations in tho neighbourhood. Public opinion is very strong in the country, and the farmer who t, would not treat the gwas well out of the goodness of his heart does it out of the fear of public opinion. But what dops public opinion bother about the strange boy from a strange 0 country, who belongs to nobody, and who has no relations to make a bother about him ? 'Did he come from the Workhouse, the zealous relieving-officer and an occasional Guardian would be calling round to see how he was getting on and to ask him how he liked his place. And at the worst he could run away and walk back to the work- house the same day—as I have known boys to do. No wonder then that in some cases the boys are treated in a manner which would never be tried on with anybody else. In one case, which was mentioned to me at the time, a lad lay groaning in the throes of a painful illness for days on the do/clod (the loft above the stable). Nobody bothered about him, or took the slightest trouble about him, and when it was at length seen that there was danger, he was brought in a cart to the nearest public institution to die. He did die. Then it is positively dangerous to put town boys fresh from the industrial school to work on a farm. Iu one case I remember the farmer sent the boy out with the horse and the roller the morning after his arrival, This work would probably have been safe enough for a country boy but when the faimer went out to seo about the youth he found him lying dead—having rolled himself ¡ instead of the land—in one corner of the field and the horse standing in the other. Again, many of the boys are physically unfitted for farm-work. Some of timm are so frail and diminutive that it seems an outrage to expect them to do anything which requires more oxortion than running with a letter to post. It is high time a change wore brought about in the method of disposing of these boys. No enemy could have indicted the system more sweepingly than the local agent has done. Boys" should not be sent into any district ia which there is not on officer whose bounden duty it is to watch their interests. At present the boy has too often to stay in a place which he dislikes, or else to steal in order to raise funds to got away. In plain English, he has thr. choice too often of becoming either A SLAVE on A TIIIEF. ALETHEIA.

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