HC Deb 15 July 1858 vol 151 cc1499-500

said, he desired to ask the President of the Poor Law Board whether it is the intention of that Board, previous to the next winter, to call upon the Guardians of the several Metropolitan Parishes and Unions to make better provision for the reception of the destitute poor who have not committed crime, in order that the cost of the assistance required for the vagrant poor, may be more equally divided amongst the parishes and districts than it appears to be at present, as shown by a Parliamentary Return, No. 291, of this Session, and in order that each parish or union may bear its fair share of this burden, in conformity with the spirit and intention of the Act 7th and 8th Vict. c. 101.


said, that the Act referred to in the question of the hon. Gentleman was passed in 1844. Immediately afterwards the Poor Law Board took measures to put it into operation. But in the following year a Select Committee was appointed to inquire into its operation. Although it was his opinion that this enactment would be the best mode of providing for the casual poor of the Metropolis, the same obstacles on the part of the ratepayers and the Boards of Guardians were to be apprehended as formerly prevented its being carried into operation. It was his intention during the approaching autumn to communicate with the different unions and parishes in the metropolis, with the view of ascertaining their sentiments upon this subject. If he found, as he hoped he should, that they were disposed to afford him support, he should be ready to do his best to carry into effect the provisions of the excellent Act to which he had referred. This he should do not so much with a view to the equalization of the burden upon the different parishes as to relieve the workhouses from the state of congestion which had been caused by the flocking into them of the lowest and most difficult to manage classes of poor.