HC Deb 24 February 1890 vol 341 cc1001-2
SIR JOHN COLOMB (Tower Hamlets, Bow)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if it is true destitute foreigners have been inmates of our poor house at Dover and supported at the cost of the ratepayers; what was their nationality: under what circumstances were they received as inmates; have any complaints reached him as to their general habits; were British inmates compelled to associate with them; were special arrangements made for their accommodation, and, if so, how is the expense to be defrayed; can they be compelled to return to their own country; and how will their travelling expense to their own country be met?


It is the case that a Patagonian Indian, with his mother, his two wives, and three children, were for four days maintained in the Dover Workhouse at the cost of the Union. It appears that they were lauded at Dover in a state of destitution, and were taken to the relieving officer, who gave an order for their admission to the workhouse. As to their habits, I am informed that the description of another savage tribe given by a midshipman in one of Captain Marryat's novels exactly applies—"Manners they had none, and their customs were beastly." They were placed in separate wards, and the other inmates were not required to ass data with them. The total cost to the Guardians in this matter was only £1 16s. 8d., and it will be borne by the common fund of the Union. The persons in question were taken away from Dover by an agent from the Consul General for Chili for the purpose of being returned to their own country, and the Guardians were informed that the Chilian Government would bear the cost.