§ Lords Reasons for insisting on certain of their Amendments to the Bill considered.
§ MR. MELLOR
moved—That this House doth insist on its disagreement to the Amendments made by The Lords to the Poor Law Amendment Act (1876) Amendment Bill, to which this House hath disagreed.The hon. Member remarked that these Amendments, if adopted, altogether did away with one remedial object of the 134 Bill, which, by finally repealing and modifying the 23rd clause of the Poor Law Act of 1876, was to relieve trustees and managers of friendly societies from the vexatious regulations they were now subject to, and also to remove the liability which was imposed upon them by the Act of 1876, to pay over to Poor Law Guardians, for the maintenance of pauper members, the benefits which were intended for the member's own, as well as for the support of the family when suffering' from sickness, and leave the Guardians to recover the expenses incurred by the Union from the pauper's family, by proceeding under the general Acts relating to the relief of the poor, which rendered everyone, who was able, liable to contribute towards the support of a pauper relative. There was nothing in the Bill to enact that property belonging to a pauper should not be available for his maintenance, nor were the provisions of the Bill inconsistent with, or contrary to, the principle which ought to regulate relief from rates levied upon others. These were the reasons assigned by the Lords in support of their Amendments; but it should be borne in mind that weekly contributions from the funds of a friendly society could not be considered or described as property, as a man could not mortgage or assign them to another, nor could they be looked upon as assets in liquidating his debts, for their payment was contingent on the duration of his sickness. The Lords, therefore, had misunderstood the Bill, and he moved to send it back to them that they might, on re-consideration, do an act of justice to large bodies of their countrymen by passing the Bill, not in its mutilated form, but in the form in which it left the House of Commons a short time ago.
Motion agreed to.
Resolved, That this House doth insist on its disagreement to the Amendments made by The Lords to the Bill, to which this House hath disagreed.