§ MR. STEPHENS (Hornsey)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is in a position to give an approximate estimate of the number of persons living permanently in movable dwellings?
§ * MR. RITCHIE
I am unable to give an approximate estimate of the number of persons living permanently in movable dwellings. I may mention, however, that the number of persons enumerated as sleeping in caravans and tents, and in the open air on April 1, 1881, the date of the last census, was as follows:—Males, 4,668; females, 3,901—making a total of 8,569.
§ MR. STEPHENS
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether the powers under Section 9 of "The Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1885," over tents, vans, sheds, and other similar structures, for purposes of public health, have been made use of by Sanitary Authorities; whether any, and, if so, how many Sanitary Authorities have made bye-laws under Sub-section (2) of Section 9 of "The Housing of the Working Classes 777 Act, 1885," for promoting cleanliness in, and the habitable condition of tents, vans, sheds, and similar structures, used for human habitation, and for preventing the spread of infectious disease by the persons inhabiting the same, and generally for the prevention of nuisances in connection with the same. And whether the Local Government Board have taken steps by circular or otherwise to draw the attention of Sanitary Authorities to the extensive powers at present possessed by them, under Section 9 of "The Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1885," with regard to tents, vans, sheds, and other similar structures?
§ * MR. RITCHIE
The Local Government Board, after the passing of "The Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1885," brought specially under the attention of the several Urban and Rural Sanitary Authorities the provisions of Section 9 of that Act as regards the regulation of tents, vans, sheds, and similar structures used for human habitation. With regard to Sub-section 1 of that section, the Board have no information as to the extent to which Local Authorities have availed themselves of their powers under the subsection. With respect to Sub-section 2, no bye-laws under that sub-section have been confirmed by the Board. In three instances only have bye-laws been proposed by Urban and Rural Sanitary Authorities, and these are now under consideration.
§ MR. STEPHENS
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council of Education whether it has been found practicable to enforce the school attendance of children travelling with canal boats in the district to which the canal boat is registered as belonging, according to the requirements of the "Canal Boats Act, 1877;" whether, owing to difficulties connected with the enforcement of the provisions of the "Canal Boats Act, 1877," with regard to the elementary education of children belonging to canal boats, attempts had been made, apart from the special provisions of the "Canal Boats Act, 1877," to compel attendance at a school in the district in which the child for the time being may be; and whether such attempts have been protested against, and opposed by school managers and school teachers in the interests of the schools under their management?
§ * THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Sir W. HART DYKE,) Kent, Dartford
I have no information as to the last two paragraphs of the question; but Mr. Brydone's Report, which will be included in the forthcoming Blue Book, shows that a great deal has been done to carry out the "Canal Boats Act," and that its enforcement has in many eases reduced the number of children on board the boats, and there is reason to believe that the substitution of special bye laws in respect of such children, in lieu of those of the district in which they happen to be, as is proposed in the "Movable Dwellings Bill," would be of great service.