HC Deb 20 October 1908 vol 194 cc945-6

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if he will state the number of cases in the coroners' returns of starvation cases, respectively, connected with Shore-ditch, Holborn, and the whole of London; whether he has taken any, and, if so, what steps to reduce the numbers in future; and whether he will suggest to the guardians of those unions that they should make it known to the poor that they are willing to give necessary relief, and especially medical relief, to the poor who need it, in accordance with 43 Eliz., c. 2, s. 1, and 4 & 5 Will. IV., c. 76, so that the poor may apply before they become totally destitute.


The latest return of the number of deaths upon which a coroner's jury returned a verdict of starvation or death, accelerated by privation, shows that in the year 1907 there were forty-six such cases in the whole of London, of which eight were connected with Shoreditch and seven with Holborn. There appears to be no reason to suppose that the poor are unaware of the facilities for obtaining medical or other relief. In many of the cases mentioned in the return relief was applied for and given, but the application was made at too late a stage. I will give consideration to the matter, but it is difficult to see what effective action can be taken in respect of persons who are unwilling to apply for relief, and whose cases are in no way brought under the notice of the guardians or their officers.