HC Deb 12 May 1908 vol 188 cc929-30

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if his attention has been called to the fact that at a recent meeting of the board of guardians of Newcastle-on-Tyne it was reported that an able-bodied man had been obliged to break up his home and take his wife and six children into the workhouse, at a cost of £3 per week to the ratepayers, while outdoor relief, and thus keeping the home together, would not have cost more than 10s. per week; and whether, during the present abnormal conditions of suffering in the district, it is his intention to make any special provision for dealing with such cases.


I understand that in the case referred to the man had a wife and three children, and that he applied for admission to the workhouse, partly because he had placed what furniture he had in the house of a neighbour to prevent its being seized for arrears of rent, and partly because his wife was near her confinement. She has since had a child in the workhouse. The guardians have now applied to me for the issue to them of what is called the modified workhouse test order, under which they could relieve the family of an able-bodied man outside the workhouse, whilst he himself was relieved in the workhouse. The application is receiving my attention.