§ MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the scarcity of cottages in the Thakeham Rural District, in Sussex, in consequence of which a man and his family have been compelled against their will to seek shelter in the workhouse, and other families were living in huts in the woods, and one large family in a barn, and to the fact that the Rural District Council of Thakeham have been unable to erect two cottages for their own carters, as no land is available for the purpose of cottage building, and whether it is his intention to tike any action in the matter.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
I have communicated with the Clerk to the Thakeham Rural District Council, who is also Clerk to the Guardians of the Thakeham Union, with regard to this Question, and he informs me that he is not aware of any case in the union where a man and his family have been compelled to seek shelter in the work-house as a result of the scarcity of cottage accommodation, nor has he any knowledge of families having on this account to live in huts in the woods. The case of a family who were living in a barn has recently come before the district council, but I understand that these persons were turned out of their cottage owing to their being considered undesirable tenants, and that throughout their occupation of the barn a cottage within half a mile of it stood empty and unlet. Their occupation of the barn has now ceased. The district council appear to have been unable at present to acquire land for the erection of two cottages for their carters at the particular spot desired, but the Clerk states that the subject is still receiving their consideration. He adds that the question of scarcity of cottages in the district will come before the council at their meeting to-day, and he promises to inform me of the result.