HC Deb 31 October 1906 vol 163 cc1115-6
MR. ALDEN (Middlesex, Tottenham)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to a Home Office Return, for 1904, of the number of deaths in London upon which a coroner's jury has returned a verdict of death from starvation or death accelerated by privation, together with the observations furnished to the Local Government Board by boards of guardians with reference to such cases; whether he is aware that there were forty-two such deaths in London, of which ten were in the eastern district, and whether seven out of those ten were in the White-chapel district; whether he has considered the attitude of the Whitechapel guardians with reference to medical and other out-relief; and what steps, if any, the Local Government Board or the Poor Law inspectors of the Whitechapel district have taken to prevent a recurrence of deaths in Whitechapel of poor persons needing medical or other relief from the like cause.


I have seen the Return, which gives the facts as stated in the Question. I am aware of the attitude of the guardians of the Whitechapel Union towards outdoor relief; but I would point out that in each of the cases in that union mentioned in the Return there does not appear to have been any application for outdoor relief. The applications are stated to have been for admission to the infirmary, and they seem to have been immediately granted. I do not understand that there was any default on the part of the guardians or their officers in any of the cases referred to.

MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)

Is it not a fact that Whitechapol makes it generally known that it gives no out-door relief, and that, therefore, there is no use applying?


That does not apply to the cases mentioned in the Question, which are all infirmary cases. If application were made, the Whitechapel and all other boards of guardians throughout the country would at once request their officers to administer relief in such a regrettable emergency.

*DR. COOPER (Southwark, Bermondsey)

Is it not the fact that with one case—the death of a child of four months—the Stepney guardians refused relief unless the whole family went into the workhouse?


I cannot say.