HC Deb 23 April 1913 vol 52 cc361-2
88. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the President of the Local Government Board if he is aware that, at the meeting of the East Ham Relief Committee of the West Ham Board of Guardians, held on Tuesday, 8th April, the chairman entered a written protest in the minute book against the action of the auditor's dictum in connection with giving out outdoor relief; that he refused to admit the auditor's right to interfere in any individual cases in granting relief; that he has refused to serve any longer on the East Ham Relief Committee until such time as the auditor proves his legal right; and if he can give any answers to the reason set out for the guidance of the members of the board of guardians as to how they are to decide on relief cases?


I understand that the facts are substantially as stated in the question. It is the duty of a district auditor to disallow such payments in the guardians' accounts as are contrary to or not authorised by law. I have already drawn the hon. Member's attention to the Local Government Board's circular of March, 1910. I see no reason at present for issuing any further general instructions as to the administration of outdoor relief.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that, when these relief committees are sitting, and have all the information of the relieving officers as to the giving of outdoor relief, this surcharging makes it very difficult for them to carry out their duties?


The difficulty, I think, has been exaggerated by the hon. Member. The relief committees are doing their work, and the relief has been uninterruptedly administered during the last three or four weeks.