HC Deb 26 February 1907 vol 169 cc1436-7

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, in regard to the case of a destitute child, named Michael Hayes, who was, on or about the 1st January 1907, brought before the magistrates at the Guildhall without shoes or stockings from the City Union, if he will say in what cases and at what dates did the City Guardians clothe children charged with offences and afterwards find that the parents had disposed of such clothing; whether he is aware that the chairman of the board of guardians stated in January last that the guardians were liable to be surcharged by the auditor of the Local Government Board for feeding these charge children; will he say whether they are liable to such surcharge; whether the auditor of the Local Government Board has threatened or would, inflict a surcharge either for feeding or giving necessary clothing to such children; what is the cost of relief in this union per head of population; and whether it does not treat more than half its members by indoor relief.


I have been furnished with a list of the charged children during the latter part of the time in which the City of London Guardians provided clothing for such children. From this list it appears that between February, 1897, and February, 1899, seventeen children were charged. Each of these children was again charged between February, 1897, and March, 1899, five of them were charged a third time between June, 1898, and March, 1899, and one of them a fourth time in June, 1898. On each occasion, as I understand, the guardians provided clothing. I have no information as to the statement alleged to have been made by the chairman. I could not express an opinion as to the liability of the guardians to surcharge without knowing the precise circumstances of the particular case; but I understand from the auditor that he has not threatened surcharge in respect of the feeding or clothing of any children of the kind in question. The expenditure of the guardians of this union on purposes wholly connected with the relief of the poor was, in the year ended Lady Day, 1906 (excluding the cost of paupers maintained in the institutions of the Metropolitan Asylums Board and the contributions of the guardians to that body, and to the Metropolitan Common Poor Fund), £3 6s. 3d. per head of the night population of the union, which is co-extensive with the City, as estimated by the Registrar-General in 1905. The answer to the last part of the Question is in the affirmative.