HC Deb 16 March 1897 vol 47 cc762-3
MR. ERNEST FLOWER (Bradford, W.)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that considerable dissent was expressed at the conference of Metropolitan Poor Law Guardians, held to consider the Draft Order of the proposed Sick Children's Asylum Board, from the proposed constitution of that Board; whether he has received a resolution from the London County Council recording emphatic condemnation of the proposed establishment of a new and distinct Metropolitan central authority; and whether, in view of the public expressions of opinion thus evinced, he will consent to postpone the official promulgation of a permanent order until an opportunity of discussing it has been given to the House?


I understand from the report of the proceedings at the conference referred to that the voting on the resolution to the effect that it was desirable that separate provision, such as is indicated in the draft order, should be made for special classes of children was 63 for and 15 against, and that the resolution to the effect that the Local Government Board before constituting a new board should consider whether the duties created by the new order could not be carried out by some existing authority or authorities was carried by a majority of 42 votes, 56 voting for and 14 against the resolution. The Local Government Board have been informed of the resolution which has been passed by the London County Council to the effect "that, while recognising the necessity for alteration in the present mode of dealing with the class of children referred to, the Council are of opinion that the establishment of a new and distinct metropolitan central authority for the care of a section of Poor Law children is undesirable and calculated to lead to needless expense." The Board have also received a copy of a report of the General Purposes Committee of the Metropolitan Asylums Board (which report was adopted by the managers on Saturday last) expressing their willingness to undertake the care of all or any of the classes of children referred to. The representations which have been made in favour of the managers of the Asylums District undertaking the duty in preference to the constitution of a new board of managers will receive the careful consideration of the Board. I cannot, however, give any undertaking such as that which my hon. Friend suggests.