§ CAPTAIN COLOMB (Tower Hamlets, Bow, &c.)
asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether the 533 attention of the Government has been directed to the proceedings of an important Conference held on the 21st January, to consider the question of the distress existing in London, at which a Resolution was passed calling upon the Government to institute an exhaustive inquiry into the extent, character, and causes of the distress existing in London; and, if so, whether it is contemplated that any steps should be taken to give effect to the views of the Conference?
§ THE PRESIDENT (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)
Yes, Sir; the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been directed to the Conference in question, which was of an essentially representative character. The Resolution passed at such Conference was forwarded to the Prime Minister, who has conferred with me on the subject, with the result that the Government have determined to institute an inquiry as to the employment and earnings and other particulars with regard to the working classes in four typical districts in the Metropolis. The districts selected are in St. George's-in-the-East, Battersea, Deptford, and Hackney. Each district has a population of about 50,000 persons, and is chiefly populated by persons of the working classes. The information which it is sought to obtain is of an exhaustive character; and the inquiries will be made from house to house by enumerators acting under the Registrars of Births and Deaths in the several districts. The Registrar General, through the agency of his Department, will render all the assistance he can to secure accuracy in the Returns. The Returns will be tabulated in the General Register Office, and will afterwards be submitted to Parliament. The inquiry will, I hope, commence on Saturday.