MR.KEIR-HARDIE (West Ham, S.)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether Section 3 of the Act 43 Eliz. c. 2, which empowers two Justices of the Peace, who are satisfied that the inhabitants of any parish are not able to relieve their own poor, as provided by the Poor Law, to assess other richer parishes within the same hundred or count)- for the relief of the poor in the parish first referred to, is still in force; and, if not, by what statute it has been repealed; and whether he is aware that it has been decided in the Law Courts that under this section the Justices may impose a special rate on selected rich individuals in a neighbouring parish instead of levying it on such parish as a whole?
§ MR. H. H. FOWLER
Whether the enactment in the 43 Eliz. cap. 2, which was passed in 1601, is operative at the present time is a question of law which can only be determined by a judicial decision. Under the existing law the maintenance of the poor is a charge on the common fund of the Union, to which all the parishes included in the Union contribute in the proportion of their rateable value. The Local Government Board are not aware of any case in which rates in aid have been levied under the Act of Elizabeth since the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1834, was passed.