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Strike Of Agricultural Labourers—Question

Volume 218: debated on Thursday 30 April 1874

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is true that boys at a Reformatory in the parish of Milborne St. Andrew's, Dorset, supported wholly or in part by grants out of public funds, are being employed by farmers in that neighbourhood to do the work of agricultural labourers now on strike; and, if so, whether he will take steps to prevent the boys in public Reformatories from being so made use of?

Sir, I have made inquiries on this subject, but I have not been able to obtain any definite answer as to actual facts. I understand that it has always been the practice of the Superintendent of this Reformatory to allow the boys at the Reformatory to work for the farmers at a certain rate of wages, and that in consequence of that the Reformatory is kept up practically without any expense to the Country and with great advantage to the farmers. So far as I have been able to learn, there has been no difference in their employment since the matter to which the hon. Baronet refers in his Question has taken place, and in my opinion there ought not to be any difference, but they ought to work exactly for the same terms and at the same places as they did before.