HC Deb 20 December 1906 vol 167 cc1717-8

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether, in view of the many cases coming before distress committees of applicants who have received temporary poor relief (other than medical relief) for their families when some member of the family was weak through prolonged privation, not knowing that thereby they became disqualified for relief under the Unemployed Workmen Act, 1905, he will take into consideration the expediency of restoring to local distress committees and the Central (unemployed) Body for London the discretionary powers they possessed of making exceptions in such cases under sub-division (1) of Article II. of the Regulations (Organisation for Unemployed), 1905, as amended by the temporary Regulations (Organisation for Unemployed), 1905 and 1906.


The discretionary powers referred to enabled assistance to be given under the Act in suitable cases to persons who had received Poor Law relief during a limited period. This period expired generally on 1st January last. The object was to meet cases in which hardship might have arisen from excluding persons who were compelled to have recourse to Poor Law relief before the Act was passed, or the distress committees were in a position to receive applications. The considerations which led to the temporary powers being given have now ceased to apply, and it does not appear to me that they could properly be extended as suggested. I may add that the Act was intended to deal with a class of persons who would not ordinarily come within the operation of the Poor Law.