HC Deb 24 March 1905 vol 143 cc1076-7
SIR CHARLES MCLAREN (Leicestershire, Bosworth)

To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether any men out of work, who are taken on and employed by boards of guardians and rural district councils to break stones or in any similar occupation at a fair rate of wages, are treated by the overseers as having been in receipt of parish relief, and are liable to disfranchisement; whether his attention has been called to the fact that no such disability or stigma attaches to men similarly employed by urban district councils; and whether, in order to facilitate the relief of the unemployed, he will proceed to amend the law and place all public bodies on a similar footing in this respect.

(Answered by Mr. Gerald Balfour.) I do not know what course may have been adopted by any particular overseers, but I am not aware of any ground for considering that men who are employed by any local authority upon work which they find it necessary to undertake, and who are paid wages for their work, would be disfranchised. If, however, the men are in receipt of relief from the guardians and employment is given to them in connection with the relief, they are, no doubt, disfranchised whatever may be the form in which the relief is given. It does not seem to me necessary to propose an alteration of the law on this subject.