REDHILL AND METTRAY.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE SPECTATOR.
, Austin Friars, 29th May 1849. Slit—As one of those most 'deeply interested in the success of the newly-formed Farm School at Bedhill, and feeling responsible in a great degree for its establish- ment, I have read with much interest your article on it in the Spectator of the 12th, andyour strictures on Mr. Sydney Turner's letter in your last number. But while fully acknowledging the value of your remarks, I hope you will allow me to recall your readers' attention to the main point of Mr. Turner's letter, viz. the difficulty which the supporters of the Farm School have to struggle with in the want of any legal control over the inmates. I am quite sure'Mr. Turner had no wish in any way to depreciate the admi- rable arrangements of Mettray, (which I know he has carefully studied,) far less to undervalue the singular qualities and powers of its founders. I have had my- self many opportunities of observing its system, and of conversing ,with M. de Metz and M. de Courteilles, by whose friendship I feel highly honoured; and every visit I have paid tothe colony has but strengthened me in the feeling which I expressed when" I first examined Mettray, and which Mr. Minter Morgan has quoted in the work you allude to, (though under my cousin's name,) viz. that as an Englishman I could not rest till I saw a Mettray in this country. No one who has seen Mettray can fail to be struck with its perfect adaptation to the French character; but I feel, with Mr. Turner, that in making it the standard whereby we judge of the working of any reformatory asylum in England, we must make allowances for the great advantages which the conductorsof Matti* enjoy in the hearty cooperation of the Government, in the complete bold upon the boys given by the law as to detention, in the lengthef the period during which the boys stay, sad, I must add, in the strong sympathy and support of some of the most eloquent and influential among the writers. for the press. So far from expecting a larger average of success, we should have a right to be content with a much smaller one; as we are entirely dependent on the impression made on the boys' mind, and Cannot say feign]," You shall stay, or return to prison." believe Mr. Turner will rejoice, and will have good reason to do so, if he can show anything like the same average of reformation as at Mettray: he may, how- ever, have some reason to think that in this country the result may be obtained at a cheaper rate; and I cannot but confess that I have been struck with the want of cleanliness and the unhealthy appearance of the boys; anH in this I hope we may improve on Mettray. The deaths average 2 per cent. I must add, that I think Mr. Turner is right in asserting that female influence may be attended with beneficial effects. I have always thought that there was a close resemblance between the boys at Mettray and those at Parkhurst; and that in both there is a want of that independent spirit and self-reliance which English boys naturally have, and which we aim at strengthening, and Dope to direct and control to a good end, and looking forward principally to emigration for the boys. I should state that at Mettray for five hundred boys there are seventy-five or eighty employes. cannot but hope, Sir, that we shall have your powerful aolitocac,y and aid in our effort to extend the usefulness of the Philanthropic 'Society, and to awaken more attention to the defective state of the laws relating to juvenile delinquents; laws which, I must own, seem to me more calculated to-propagate crime thin to prevent or even suppress it I must apologize for trespassing so much upon your valuable space twine; but I hope the importance of the subject wili plead my excuse. And. I have the honour to be, Sir; your obedient servant,
Was GrAborome, Treasurer of the Philanthropic Society.