HC Deb 03 May 1911 vol 25 cc430-1

asked the Prime Minister whether he has examined the speech delivered on Thursday last by the President of the Local Government Board; wheher these observations represent the considered opinion of the Cabinet as to the necessity for Poor Law legislation when time and opportunity permit; whether he has now observed the emphatic protest made by Lord George Hamilton, the chairman of the recent Royal Commission, and his suggestion for organised action; and whether, in view of the anxiety already publicly and formally expressed, he can make any statement on the subject?


I have read my right hon. Friend's speech and the letter from Lord George Hamilton which appeared in "The Times" of Monday. I gather from the full report of the speech that my right hon. Friend expressed the opinion that in view of what the Government have done and are proposing to do in connection with such matters as old age pensions, labour exchanges, land and housing reform, and insurance against invalidity and unemployment—measures which admittedly affect the treatment of destitution—the character of the problems remaining to be dealt with has been in some important respects modified. But my right hon. Friend and the Government quite realise that the necessity for Poor Law legislation, when time and opportunity permit, will not have been removed by these actual and contemplated reforms.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is not a fact that Liberal policy aims at removing causes of poverty rather than organising it?