HC Deb 19 February 1907 vol 169 cc713-4

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to case of a destitute child, named Michael Hayes, who was, on or about the 1st January, 1907, brought before the magistrate at the Guildhall, without shoes and stockings, from the City Union; whether he is aware that the officers of the guardians of that union had refused to provide him with shoes and stockings, although the weather was then very inclement; and whether, in view of the duty of the guardians to provide the child with shoes and stockings as necessary relief within the meaning of The Poor Relief Act, 1601, and of the fact that the City Guardians spend more money per head of population than any other board of guardians in the Kingdom, he proposes to take any, and, if any, what action in the matter.


I made inquiry with respect to this case. I am informed that the guardians deemed it necessary to discontinue the supply of clothing to charged children brought to the work-house by the police because they found that many parents purposely sent their children into the City in the hope that clothing and boots would be given them, and that eventually the articles were disposed of by the parents and the child again sent into the city to beg, dressed in the old ragged garments. I understand, however, that the guardians are in communication with the Court of Aldermen with a view to the discontinuance of the practice of sending charged children to the workhouse referred to, and to other arrangements being made with regard to them.

*MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)

Would it not be possible to put some mark on the boots and clothes which would prevent parents from disposing of them improperly?


That has been tried, but the ingenuity of fraudulent parents circumvented it.


It is done in Lancashire.