HC Deb 02 May 1907 vol 173 c1048

To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that the Local Government Board inspector advised the Newark guardians not to pay able-bodied men who were needing employment as much as 2s. for a day's work, and said that it had been found in other unions that by giving men five days work, and by relieving them according to their necessities, there was a decrease in applications, because it was found that it was not worth their while to work for five days, say, for 7s. a week; will he say in what unions men had been offered 7s. a week or less for five days work; whether all the men were single men, or whether any of them had a wife, child, or children; and whether the Local Government Board approved of their inspector's statement.

(Answered by Mr. John Burns.) My hon. friend only gave notice of his Question yesterday, and hence I have not been able to communicate with the inspector with regard to the matter referred to in it, or to ascertain the precise unions to which he is stated to have alluded in his interview with the Newark guardians. I have, however, seen a newspaper report of the interview, and, if this account is correct, I should see no reason to disapprove of the advice which he gave. I would point out that the relief given by guardians to an able-bodied male person is not a payment for work done, but should be based upon the necessities of the man and those dependent on him. The work is intended as a condition of the relief and a test of destitution.