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A Terrible Traffic.

It is nob necessary to go to Warsaw for revolting revelations, regarding babyfarming. In the May number of the " Contemporary Review " is an article by Mr Benjamin Waugh, which gives details; of what is actually going on in England, calculated to make the reader sick with horror. Some of the scenes he • as having come under his notice are so shocking that we cannot reproduce the narrative. He speaks of one room in which five miserable infants were discovered reeking in filth and perishing with cold. Mr Waugh says :— ■' . h "In bitter March there was no fire.' Two children had a band of flannel round the loins, one had a small shawl on, the rest had only thin, filthy cotton frocks. ( All were yellow, fevered skin and bone, None of them cried ; they were too weak. One had bronchitis, one curvature of the spine, and the rest rickets, all from their treatment. There was not a scrap of children's food in the house. In a bedroom above was a matress, soaked and sodden' with filfch, to which they were eawied at night, with two old coats for. covering. All the children's clothes in the place were the handful of rags) they wore, and a man and his wife sat watching them die of filth and famine, so making their living. It was their trade.; On one which had died a few months before was found a graceful memorial card, with the motto, " He shall gather them into His arms," which had been provided for the procurer who sent it. At the farm its mother was not known. These five weary creatures were all removed into restorative care ; all injured for life. Two never recovered, and died in Hospital.' In some cases —the majority one would hope—the mothers are deceived as to the character of the places and persons to whom the children <■«:•.> want. In others they know only too well" what is qoingon. Here is another of Mr Waugh's awful pictures : — " The place consisted of two rooms, one living room and one bedroom. In the bedroom was one bed for the woman's two children avA the two other children, and three adults. When the place was entered,. the only children's food in < it ' was a bowl of putrid bread and milk. Her children had sat daily in chairs till their thighs were now horribly raw with the wood of the chair. A. chemise or a night-gown was their only clothing. They were now,-ill, and had, lain for days unmoved on pillows, cold^ wet, sodden with filth, and creeping with maggots, a piece of sacking over them. Twelve shillings a week the mother paid for them. She periodically visited them, and saw their deadly whiteness, their shrinking lips, their protruding teeth, the dry, hot, weary anguish in them. One di«d, sbill the mother visited and saw the other. She visited up to the last. Her children were in this place, wilfully put there one afber the other, both being taken away from excellent care to be so." This vile trade is carried on without much disguise by means of advertisements. Thtse are usually worded in some such way as this :--" A respectable married couple, want /charge of a baby, or. to adopt." It has its own infamous tariff, which at any,rate is based on a principle easily understood. The principle is to ask as much as the persons, judging from their position, are likely to part with. The " price for the absolute disposal of a child " varies from ," £5 for servants to £200 for genteel people." It is difficult to believe that all this is written of a Christian country in the nineteenth century. Mr Waugh's article cannot fail to create a terrible sensation, and it will be a burning disgrace for Englishmen if steps are not at once taken to sweep this fiendish traffic out of the country.

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Bibliographic details

A Terrible Traffic., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2469, 19 July 1890

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A Terrible Traffic. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2469, 19 July 1890