§ MR. H. KIMBER (Wandsworth)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether, considering the extraordinary results to Boards of Guardians of certain parishes and Unions in the Metropolis, owing to the grant of 4d. per day, under Section 43 of the Local Government Act, 1888, for every indoor pauper maintained by them, being calculated on a certificate based on the average number of indoor poor so maintained during the five years ended 25th March, 1888, which is now necessarily very largely varied by subsequent alterations in the population, he will take such steps as may be necessary under Sub-Section (B) of Section 43 of the Act before mentioned to have amended certificates prepared and issued; and whether he has been made aware, in particular, of the case of the Wandsworth and Clapham Union, which only receives the grant on a daily average of 1,624 indoor paupers, while at the present time the number chargeable exceeds 2,800?
§ *MR. P. M. THORNTON (Clapham)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that in the district governed by the Wandsworth and Clapham Union the grant of 4d. per day, under Section 43 of the Local Government Act, 1888, which was intended to be for every indoor pauper maintained by the Guardians, is, owing to the fact that the calculation is based upon a certificate some years old, paid on a daily average of 1,624 only, whereas the actual number of indoor paupers chargeable on the Union exceeds 2,800; and whether, as the contribution consequently falls so far short of the proper sum, he is prepared to take immediate steps to remedy the anomaly in the interests of the ratepayers of the of the Union?
§ MR. J. BURNS (Battersea)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the injustice arising from the working of Section 43 of the Local Government Act, 1888; and, if so, what steps are contemplated to remove it?
§ MR. SHAW LEFEVRE
Under Section 43 of the Local Government Act, 1888, the amount of the grant of 4d. per day for each indoor pauper paid to each Metropolitan Union by the London County Council is determined by the average number of indoor paupers maintained in that Union during the five financial years ended on March 25, 1888, and the Section expressly declares that it shall continue to be reckoned in accordance with the same average number unless Parliament otherwise determine. If, therefore, the basis of the apportionment of this grant is to be altered legislation will be necessary, and I should not be justified in submitting any proposals to Parliament on the matter until I have had full opportunity of ascertaining the views held with respect to it by the London County Council, who have to pay the grant, and the various Boards of Guardians who receive it. At present I have only received communications on the subject from two Boards of Guardians in London. I may add that the question of apportionment between the different parishes is one of considerable difficulty, as the Boards of Guardians pursue varying policies with regard to outdoor and indoor relief, and no account is taken in the Act of the number of outdoor paupers.
§ *MR. THORNTON
asked the right hon. Gentleman if he was not aware that the anomaly in question was increasing day by day in the borough of Clapham and Battersea, owing to the sale of old properties for building purposes around Clapham Common, and whether he could not see his way to some legislative action.
§ MR. SHAW LEFEVRE
said, it was not an easy subject to deal with without, at all events, the full sanction of the London County Council and a certain general approval of the parishes concerned in the matter.
§ MR. KIMBER
inquired if the right hon. Gentleman would ascertain the views of the London County Council.