HC Deb 22 March 1869 vol 194 cc1899-900

said, he wished to ask the President of the Poor Law Board, If the amounts of £56,600 and £44,000 respectively, specified in the Returns relating to Asylums (Metropolis) as the estimated cost of the structures of the Fever and Small Pox Asylums at Stockwell and Homerton, include all charges necessary to the completion and fitting of the Asylums for the reception of patients; and, if not, the estimated additional amount -which will be required for that purpose; and, if he will state the number of beds to be provided in the proposed new hospitals for the chronic sick, bedridden, and acute sick in each of the Sick Asylum Districts of Newington, Kensington, Rotherhithe, Poplar, Central London, and Finsbury?


said, in reply, that the sums specified in the Returns to which the hon. Gentleman's first Question related did not include the amount paid for furniture and things. His hon. Friend the Member for Finsbury (Mr. M'Cullagh Torrens) had moved for a Return showing the cost of the site and the cost of the structures. The Poor Law Board had applied to the managers of the Metropolitan Asylum District for the estimate, as asked for, and they gave the original estimate for the structures. It was stated in the Returns that these estimates were subject to material alterations which were under consideration, and which would effect a reduction. That reduction, in the case of the Stock-well Asylum, had now been settled, and was ascertained to amount to £5,600. But, on the other hand, the estimates for fixings, furniture, and fittings had since come in, subsequent, he should add, to the publication of the Return, and the Poor Law Board was not in possession of the information which the estimates furnished when the Returns were asked for, nor had the Board yet had the opportunity of examining the items, so that the estimates for furniture and fixtures must as yet be regarded as simply provisional. They amounted to about £16,000, besides a sum of £6,700, which represented 10 per cent for possible contingencies. The hon. Member would understand that those amounts could only provisionally be accepted as correct, and that the figures which he had mentioned applied to the Stockwell Asylum, and not to the Homerton, of which he had not yet received any estimates beyond the cost of structure given in the Return. "With respect to the second Question, the hon. Member, who was himself a member of the Metropolitan Asylums Board, might possibly be aware that a different arrangement would be carried out in the case of Finsbury to that originally contemplated. The same remark applied more or less to the cases of Newington and Rotherhithe, which were under the consideration of the Board, and they might possibly be dealt with also in a different manner. With regard to the number of beds originally proposed, they were as follows—and he might observe that the estimates for the number of beds were those of the managers of the Asylums, and not of the Poor Law Board, though the inspector had conferred with the managers. The number of beds at Newington was about 600, at Kensington 600, at Rotherhithe 500, at Poplar 570, and in Central London probably about 600. These were entirely provisional estimates, with regard to which no decision had at all been taken, and with respect to which he hoped to be able to make a statement when the Bill to amend the Metropolitan Poor Bill of 1867 came on for discussion.