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THOSE ASHBURTON SAVAGES.

Referring to the three children "cap tured" by the police at Roxburgh, nea Alford Forest, the 'Guardian' says:— " We have Been guttersnipes in the slums of London, dirty, unkempt, and in rags, but we never saw children even in the purlieus of St. Giles who presented a more deplorable spectacle. Clothes they had none, for the filthy strips of rags which constituted their sole and single garment, and which in color and texture resembled nothing so much as a dirty lamp cloth, failed to cover their nakedness, while heads and. legs and feet were wholly innocent of covering other than an incrustation of dirt. They have not the slightest sense of decency or cleanliness, conductbg themselves like animals—rather with less regard to cleanliness than most animals. And ail this in the nineteenth century, and in the midst of a civilised community, where but for the interference of the police at the instigation of indignant neighbors this unfortunate family were growing up in a lower con? dition than that of the lowest of savage races. The thing seems almost incredible, but ia nevertheless true." The'Guardian'disouases the question "what is to be done with them?" and finds it a diffioult one to answer. The Destitute Persons Act can hardly meek their case, for thefather owns lOOaoresof land, and he has not "deserted" them. The Industrial Schools Act doubtfully meets the case. Section 16 empowers any. constable to take before a Resident Magistrate (who has power to commit to an Industrial School) " any child found wandering about . . . or sleeping in the open air, and not having any home or settled place of abode, or any visible means of subsistence." In this case the children had been seen sleeping in the open air, but they had a home or " settled place of abode," and they had "visible means of subsistence " in a bunch of carrots and a handy turnip field. Surely the ' Guardian' is making mountains out of very small mole hills of difficulty.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890525.2.3

Bibliographic details

THOSE ASHBURTON SAVAGES., Evening Star, Issue 7916, 25 May 1889

Word Count
333

THOSE ASHBURTON SAVAGES. Evening Star, Issue 7916, 25 May 1889

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