§ MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether in view of the fact that the Poor Law authority is a separate authority in many places and of the cost and size of the Annual Report of the Local Government Board, it would be possible to publish that part of the Report which deals with the Poor Law matters only as a separate volume; and whether it would be possible to issue half-yearly or quarterly to boards of guardians comparative statistics for groups of unions upon the lines of the weekly returns now prepared for the metropolitan unions, the districts of the several inspectors being taken as his basis of such statistics.
(Answered by Mr. Walter Long.) It would not be practicable to give effect to the suggestion in the first part of the Question, so far as the Annual Report now in preparation is concerned, but before the next one is commenced I will give full consideration to that suggestion. The half-yearly statements with regard to pauperism issued by my Department, which can be purchased for a few pence, give information as to the number of paupers in each Poor Law union, and also comparative statements of pauperism as respects certain geographical divisions and union counties. I should be glad to include in these statements any additional information which could be given without undue labour, but I am afraid that to give in the periodical returns comparative statistics for each union would considerably increase the work of preparing these returns.