HC Deb 29 October 1908 vol 195 c499

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if he will state the basis of his calculation that there were 800,000 people housed and fed in the free night-shelters in Berlin alone every year; and, on a similar computation, what is the number annually fed in night shelters and workhouses in London.


For the precise figure 800,000, as represening the number of persons annually housed and fed in Berlin in public and private shelters, I would refer the hon. Member to W. H. Dawson's book "The German Workman" (p. 134). I am not aware of any statistics as to the number of persons annually fed in night shelters in London, but perhaps I may refer the hon. Member to some interesting figures on the subject, contained in Sir Shirley Murphy's Report to the London County Council, submitting the result of a census of homeless persons on the night of the 8th February, 1907.


Is it not the fact that the figures on which the right hon. Gentleman bases his calculations are arrived at by adding together the number of men who have been at the night refuges every day in the year, and treating them as separate individuals?


If the noble Lord will turn to the Report issued by the Labour Bureau of Washington he will see the significant admission that in 1904 there were over 4,000,000 admissions representing 2,000,000 people.