HC Deb 15 August 1893 vol 16 cc238-9
MR. COBB (Warwick, S. E., Rugby)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he has received any, and what, communication from the Southam Board of Guardians as to the case of James Morrey, of Napton; whether he is aware that, since the subject was mentioned in the House on 21st July, Morrey applied to the Board for outdoor relief, and that they allowed him 7s. 6d. a week for two weeks, and that he is now only receiving a few loaves; whether he is aware that, after being ill for 22 weeks, and receiving outdoor relief for only six weeks, although the hospital physician certified that it was a case for outdoor relief, Morrey was seized with a fit and was senseless for an hour and apparently dying, and that the doctor advised that this was brought on through weakness from want of food; whether he is aware that Morrey appealed to one of the Guardians for Napton, and that the Guardian told him that he must go to the Member for the Rugby Division for relief; and whether he will make strong representations to the Southam Board to induce them to support Morrey by outdoor relief, as advised by the hospital physician, and not force him into the workhouse?


I am informed by the Guardians of the Southam Union that on the 25th of last month James Morrey attended before them, and that an order was given for his admission to the workhouse. He refused the order, and the relieving officer who visited him on the following day, in the exercise of his discretionary power, gave tickets for necessaries to the value of 7s. 10d. On the 2nd August Morrey was again relieved with necessaries to the value of 7s. 7d. On the 8th August the Guardians, having further considered the case, passed a resolution to the effect that the order for the workhouse should be continued, as they considered that Morrey would have a better chance of recovery if regularly treated in the workhouse. The relieving officer was at the same time instructed to give bread not exceeding seven loaves per week in case he considered it necessary. No application was made by Morrey for relief between the 30th May and the 20th July. The Guardians state that they are not aware that he was seized with a fit, nor any of the circumstances alleged in connection with it. They also say they are not aware of any appeal by Morrey to one of the Guardians for Napton. If, however, it is correct that any Guardian told any applicant for relief that he must go to the Member for the Rugby Division for such relief, I think such a reply was a most improper one. As I have already stated with regard to this case, it is entirely in the discretion of the Guardians whether they will give indoor or outdoor relief. The Local Government Beard are expressly precluded by Statute from giving any directions in the case.