HC Deb 02 July 1907 vol 177 cc513-5

To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether the last half-yearly returns of expenditure of the guardians of Hammer smith, sent to them by the Poor Law inspector, contained only the items of outdoor relief and indoor maintenance; what were the respective amounts of these items; whether the following items, or any of them, were omitted from such returns, viz.: salaries, rations and superannuation of officers and servants, interest on loans, cost of furniture, repairs to buildings and furniture, and other items of cost of relief of the poor; if so, what was the total amount of expenditure on the omitted items of poor relief; and whether, having regard to the great and increasing cost of indoor relief, he would in future direct that the inspectors' half-yearly returns throughout England and Wales should give the whole cost of poor relief.

(Answered by Mr. John Burns.) I think my hon. friend is under some misapprehension in this matter. The inspector of the metropolitan district has lately retired, but I understand that he did not send out periodical statements of the expenditure of the boards of guardians in his district. A Parliamentary Return is issued half-yearly by the Local Government Board, which shows the total amount expended by boards of guardians for poor relief, and as regards each union the amount expended on in-maintenance and outdoor relief. This is perhaps the Return which my hon. friend has in mind. The Return is only intended to show the expenditure incurred by each board of guardians in the maintenance of indoor paupers and in outdoor relief, and not to give particulars as to their total expenditure as a Poor Law authority. The latter information is given in the annual Local Taxation Returns. As regards Hammersmith, the expenditure of the guardians during the half-year ended at Michaelmas, 1906, was as follows:—

Maintenance of indoor paupers 12,613
Outdoor relief 3,301
Maintenance of lunatics in asylums, etc. 5,487
Salaries, etc., and superannuation allowances of officers and servants 4,589
Principal of loans and interest thereon 5,505
Other expenditure wholly connected with the relief of the poor 3,293

These items include, as regards paupers in establishments belonging to the Metropolitan Asylums Board, only in-maintenance expenses. The total contributions by the guardians to the managers during the half-year was £10,404, but it is not practicable to state how much of this amount related exclusively to Poor Law purposes. In addition, a payment of £4,298 was made to the Metropolitan Common Poor fund during the half-year.