HC Deb 05 May 1905 vol 145 cc1024-5
MR. RUFUS ISAACS (Berkshire, be Reading)

To ask the President of the Local Government Board on; what grounds the Board have refused to allow the departure from the be provisions of their General Order of the 18th December, 1882, so as to enable the Guardians of Reading to vary the dietary of the casuals at the Blading Vagrant Wards by substituting an allowance of tea at night on admission in place of gruel; and whether the Board will reconsider the matter, in view of the difficulty arising from the uncertainty in the number of applicants for relief on any particular night.

(Answered by Mr. Grant Lawson.) The Local Government Board attach much importance to uniformity in the treatment of the casual poor, and consider that the dietary prescribed by their General Order referred to should not be departed from in the case of a particular workhouse. It was on these grounds that they felt unable to assent to the proposal of the Reading Guardians, and I am afraid that I cannot promise that the Board will reconsider their decision in the matter. I may add that there is a special objection to assenting to exceptional diets at the present time, as the whole subject of the treatment of vagrants is being investigated by a Departmental Committee.