§ SIR ROBERT HOBART (Hampshire, New Forest)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board why the Local Government Board is forcing an inquiry upon the inhabitants of the Southampton incorporation and South Stoneham union, respecting the dissolution of the Southampton incorporation and the formation of a new union to comprise, in addition to the old Southampton incorporation area, the two parishes of Portswood and Shirley, now in the South Stoneham union, when such inquiry has not been asked for by either board of guardians nor by any local authority; and whether he is aware that such inquiry is directly contrary to the decision of the House of Commons, who had the whole question before it in July, 1905, that the two above-mentioned parishes should not be added to the Southampton incorporation without a Parliamentary inquiry.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
The South Stoneham guardians proposed to provide further infirmary accommodation, and as this would not be required if the parishes of Portswood and Shirley were taken out of the union, it is necessary that the question whether this alteration of area should be made should be finally settled. The Local Government Board consequently propose to hold a local inquiry on the subject. The Southampton guardians have passed a unanimous resolution in favour of the dissolution of the incorporation and the formation of a new union comprising the parishes above-mentioned. I am aware that a Select Committee in 1905 inserted in a Bill to confirm a Provisional Order on this subject a clause which would in certain circumstances have prevented these parishes from being included in a union formed under the Order except by means of a further 1115 Provisional Order, but the Bill was not proceeded with, and under the general law the Local Government Board are empowered to alter Poor Law Unions at their discretion.