6 APRIL 1867, Page 3

Mr. Dent on Tuesday called attention to the Report on

Agri- cultural Gangs which we recently analyzed, demanding regulation for those gangs on the principle of the Factory Acts. Mr. Walpole assented, but agreed with Mr. W. E. Forster that the inquiry ought to extend to " private " gangs. The Commission is, therefore, to be reappointed, and the new facts will, we fear, be worse than the old, and will, we trust with Mr. Forster, lead to the total prohibition of field labour for girls under eighteen. The debate was chiefly remarkable for the entire absence of any- defence of the system. Most abuses are defended in England, but this particular one is too bad, and even Mr. Read, avowedly trying to say all he conscientiously could, only said that the gangs were not more immoral than country girls generally and servants in big houses, and that the real evil was want of cottages, which is true enough, though not all the truth.