§ MR. GEOFFREY DRAGE (Derby)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if his attention has been called to a Petition of the Mansfield Board of Guardians, dated 26th June 1895, as to the increase of vagrancy, and the heavy burden imposed by certain unions thereby; and whether he will consider the advisability of an Inquiry into this subject, with a view to enforcing the principle that each locality should be responsible for its own poor?
§ MR. CHAPLIN
I have had under my attention the Memorial referred to, together with a letter received from the Mansfield Board of Guardians on the 21st of this month. There has, undoubtedly, been a considerable increase of vagrancy of late years, and the Board, in a circular letter which was issued by them last month, have stated their views as to the course which should be adopted by Boards of Guardians with regard to the relief of this class of poor, and have expressed their opinion that if the regulations which are now in force are enforced by Boards of Guardians generally throughout the country, the number of persons relieved as vagrants would be largely diminished. The Mansfield Board of Guardians, it appears, desire an Inquiry with a view to the relief of the casual poor being placed under a system of State control, so that the expense of such relief may be borne partially by Capitation or other grants by the State. I cannot direct an Inquiry for the purpose suggested.