HC Deb 16 June 1904 vol 136 cc264-5

To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether rules of administration are or have been recently in force in the Atcham Union providing that when relief is administered to an able-bodied labouring man who is himself ill, and the illness is not contagious, the board require that some of the children shall come to the workhouse during the sickness, and if the man is earning good wages and the sickness does not continue for a long period, the family not being large, the repayment of the whole or part of the relief is required; that where the wife or children of an able-bodied man in work are ill, relief is refused, except in very serious cases, such as when the family is suffering from a contagious or infectious disease or where many of the family are ill at the same time, or where the man has had a good deal of previous sickness in the family and is unable to procure the necessary means for their recovery; that no outdoor relief is granted to able-bodied widows with children, except in sickness; if the woman's character is good an offer is made to her to send such a number of her children to the workhouse for training as will leave her only such as she will be enabled to provide for as well as for herself; and, if so, will he state whether these rules have the sanction of the Local Government Board.

(Answered by Mr. Walter Long.)I have received a copy of a report made in 1890 by the late chairman of the Atcham Board of Guardians, in which is included a document drawn up by the clerk in 1871 relating to the precedents and rules in the proceedings of the guardians in the administration of relief from 1836 to 1871. This document, which embodies principles as to the administration of relief to the effect mentioned in the Question, gives as I understand the practice of the guardians up to 1871, but forms no part of any official rules. I am informed that the precedents on which these principles are founded are not in any way binding on the administration of the guardians. I gather that these principles are acted upon and referred to by the guardians though they are to a certain extent modified in practice. No sanction on the part of the Local Government Board has been given to them.