HC Deb 25 June 1888 vol 327 cc1133-4
MR. LEGH (Lancashire, S.W., Newton)

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether a large number of Pensioners and Army Reserve men are inmates of workhouses which they only leave for the purpose of receiving their pay, often returning for re-admittance the same day; and, if so, whether means exist by which the Guardians of the various Unions could attach the sums of money which become periodically due to such persons, in order to defray the expense of their maintenance?

THE PRESIDENT (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

The Local Government Board obtained particulars as to the number of Army Reserve men and military pensioners in workhouses on the 12th of November last. The total number of inmates of workhouses on that day was about 63,000. Of this number 88 were Army Reserve men and 530 military pensioners. As regards the latter, there is a provision in the 19 Vict., c. 13, s. 8, which enables the Guardians to arrange with the Secretary of State for the repayment from the pension of the amount of relief advanced to the pensioner, and in a large number of cases this provision is acted upon by the Guardians. The Guardians cannot, however, recover more than the cost of the relief granted to the man, although his pension may exceed that amount; and there are, no doubt, cases where the pensioner discharges himself from the workhouse with the view of receiving the balance of his pension, and when he has received it within a short time spends it, and again becomes an inmate of the workhouse. As regards the Army Reserve men, there is at present no similar provision; but, as already stated, the number of such men in workhouses is very small.