HC Deb 15 February 1854 vol 130 c701

said, he begged to ask the right hon. President of the Poor Law Board, whether, in the event of the Bill now before Parliament becoming law, whereby the charge of maintaining the destitute poor would be cast upon Unions instead of parishes, it was intended that the practice of the Board with respect to the re-division of existing Unions should be relaxed, so as to render such re-divisions more easy of attainment than they had hitherto been?


Sir, in reply to the question put to me by my hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr Tydvil, I beg to remind him, that by the 7 & 8 Vict. c. 101, s. 66, there is already a power in the Poor Law Board of separating any parish or parishes from a Union, or of adding any parish or parishes to a Union. Heretofore this power has been very seldom exercised, because it was always attended with inconvenience, and sometimes with injustice, by disturbing existing arrangements; but if the Bill which I have obtained the leave of the House to introduce should receive the sanction of Parliament, the Poor Law Board would probably think it their duty to avail themselves of this power more frequently for the purpose of obviating cases of injustice, such as those which were mentioned by my right hon. Friend the Member for Morpeth (Sir G. Grey). Having pointed out what the existing law is, I have only to state that, if my hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr Tydvil should think the provisions as they already stand are not sufficient for the purpose, I shall give my very best consideration to any proposition he may think it necessary to make with the view of rendering the operation of the Bill as fair and as just as possible.

The House adjourned at half after Twelve o'clock.

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