HC Deb 08 March 1886 vol 303 cc102-3
MR. SETON-KARR (St. Helen's)

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether it is a fact that numbers of houses (dwellings for the poor) have been pulled down in the East End of London, whereby the remaining accommodation for the poorest classes in the East End has become still more crowded; and that no steps have yet been taken to build healthy dwellings for the poor on their site; whether he is aware that houses in the East End of London are still being sublet to the poorest classes by house-jobbers, room by room; resulting in comparatively exorbitant rents to the poorest classes, and extortionate profits to the aforesaid house-jobbers; whether, considering the present depression and want of employment in the East End of London, Her Majesty's Government can take immediate steps to remedy these evils, and to facilitate and expedite the administration of Acts of Parliament dealing with this subject; and, whether there is any means by which some of the funds subscribed for the relief of the unemployed can be utilised in employing labour in building dwellings for the poor on vacant sites?


As regards the first and second Questions of the hon. Member, a reference to the evidence which was taken before the Committee on the Housing of the Working Classes will show that the statements in the Questions are substantially accurate. The Acts which have been passed dealing with the housing of the poor in the Metropolis are under the administration of either the Metropolitan Board of Works or of the District Boards and Vestries; and the Local Government. Board have no authority in the matter. We have done what we can to urge upon those Bodies the propriety of expediting, as far as possible, any works which they may think it well to undertake at this time. As regards the last Question, I suppose the hon. Member refers to the Mansion House Fund. That is a matter over which I have no jurisdiction whatever; and I should, therefore, suggest that any question on the subject should be addressed to the Lord Mayor.