HC Deb 21 April 1913 vol 52 cc15-6 P
24. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that Mr. R. T. L. Parr, the Local Government Board auditor, recently said to the guardians in the West Ham Union, as to certain cases where the guardians had given out-door relief, that he found it difficult to hold that persons in receipt of out-relief were actually destitute, and that there was no legal definition of that word either by Statute or Order of the Local Government Board; and whether, seeing that by the Poor Law Acts of 1603 and 1834 it is the duty of the guardians to give necessary relief to the poor, and that these two Statutes imposing the duty of giving relief never employ the term destitute or actually destitute, but only the terms poor and necessary relief, and that the majority of the Royal Commissioners more than four years ago, after discussing the word "destitute," said that they preferred the term necessitous as more accurately describing those who are at present held to be qualified for relief, he will inform Mr. Parr and other auditors that in future they need not inquire whether a person is destitute or actually destitute, but only whether he is necessitous or, being poor, needs relief?


I understand that the question substantially indicates what was said by the auditor. But I cannot think that the word "necessitous" would have any different meaning from that of "destitute," as interpreted in the Circular to which I have called the hon. Member's attention some days ago.