16 FEBRUARY 1945, Page 2

The Remand Home Report The report of the committee appointed

to enquire into the charges made by the Chairman of the Tower Bridge Juvenile Court against the conduct of the L.C.C. remand home at Marles- ford Lodge is a judicial and constructive document, ill deserving the description " whitewash" accorded to it in a singularly un- judicial leading article in the Daily Telegraph. It was obvious before the committee was appointed that the magistrates concerned had seriously overstated their case, and the committee very rightly points out where and how. The desire that delinquent children, or children from unsatisfactory homes, should be given the best possible chance does not justify language tending to create the impression that the condition of remand homes in London generally is little short of a scandal. It is idle to ignore entirely the difficulty at such a time as this of securing ideal premises, or a suitable staff, for such institutions. That is of the essence of the case. On the whole, the committee takes the view that the Marlesford Lodge staff made the best of the conditions they had to work in. There is no foundation for the suggestion that the child with whom the Tower Bridge magistrate was principally concerned ever associated with girls suffering from venereal disease. As for segregation of innocent girls with girls of doubtful character, that would involve segregation by character—grades which, as the committee points out, no authority has yet proved capable of defining. On the other hand, there is candid criticism of some features of Marlesford Lodge, notably the lack of provision for recreation out of school hours, and a number of practical suggestions are made, of which the Home Secretary would do well to take serious notice. One of the most disquieting observations is that a state of perpetual friction exists between the L.C.C. authorities and the Juvenile Court magistrates. The first necessity, plainly, is to change that state of affairs.