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Question

Volume 229: debated on Thursday 4 May 1876

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Henry Cole, farmer, of Oakington, Cambridge shire, who was fined on the 8th of April, by the county justices at Cambridge, £1 and £2 12s. 2d. costs, for having employed a boy, Thomas Barker, without having procured a certificate of school attendance as required by the Agricultural Children Act. It appeared in evidence that the boy was one of eight children, and the son of a labourer working for Mr. Cole; that the boy had regularly attended school twice a day since January, and was only employed two hours before and two hours after school hours; and, whether, under these circumstances, he would recommend a mitigation or remission of the fine?

in reply, said, his attention had been called to the case referred to by the hon. and learned Gentleman. Mr. Cole seemed to have been anxious that the boy should attend school and to reconcile his father to the loss he would thereby sustain. Under all the circumstances he did not feel justified in interfering in the matter.