§ In granting outdoor relief to a person in receipt of or entitled to receive any benefit under this Act, a board of guardians in England shall not take into consideration any such benefit, except so far as such benefit exceeds five shillings a week.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I beg to move to leave out the words "in England" ["a board of guardians in England."]
I had proposed with regard to this Clause to move its omission. I had also handed in a manuscript Amendment to leave out the words "in England," which really I think meets my point more clearly than leaving out the Clause. This Clause provides in England only—not in Scotland, Wales, or Ireland—that in the granting of outdoor relief to a person in receipt of or entitled to receive any benefit under this Act, a Board of Guardians shall not take into consideration any such benefit except so far as it exceeds five shillings a week. I apprehend the reason for that is that there is an Act of 1894 which was amended by the Act of 1904 under which Boards of Guardians in England in granting outdoor relief are not to take into consideration any benefits received from a friendly society except so far as it exceeds this five shillings. I rather presume it was in view of this Act that this Clause was put in. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether, having regard to the fact that in Scotland, and I think in Wales and in Ireland, there are also provisions for giving outdoor relief, there is now any just foundation for maintaining this distinction? This is a Bill which applies to the whole of the United Kingdom. I would ask the Attorney-General whether he can really give us any sound reason for making a distinction between England, and Scotland, and Ireland in this respect. If the Attorney-General can point out to us any sound reason, I shall, of course, reconsider this Amendment. Personally, I do not see that there really is any substantial ground. The mere fact that there is this Statute at the present time applicable to England alone does not seem to me to be a good reason for making this distinction in a Bill which applies to the whole of the United Kingdom.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The hon. and learned Gentleman is quite right in his explanation of the reason for this Clause. It is only with reference to England that 451 the Friendly Societies Act applies. He rightly surmises that this Clause is framed upon that. There is quite a different system in Scotland and Ireland. The observations made by the hon. and learned Gentleman deserve consideration, and we are willing, if there is likely to be any injustice done by Scotland and Ireland not being included, to see that it is put right.
§ Mr. CASSEL
The matter will perhaps be considered before Report stage. I ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.