HC Deb 18 March 1913 vol 50 cc850-1
71. Mr. O'GRADY

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the case of eight men sentenced at the Ashford Police Court to fourteen days' hard labour for refusing to perform the allotted task of breaking stone at the West Ashford casual ward, Hothfield; whether he is aware that the strike of these men arose out of the refusal of the superintendent to grant the men's request for hot water to wash down the bread supplied for breakfast; whether the Regulations insist that cold water is an item of the menu; and, if so, will steps be taken giving discretion to superintendents of casual wards to make concessions of the nature indicated in the request of these strikers?


I have made some inquiry in this matter. I understand that the men referred to refused to do their tasks unless supplied with a hot beverage, either tea, coffee, or cocoa, in addition to the dietary allowance of bread. The regulations do not contain any provision as to the supply of drinking water, but I understand the men were told they could obtain warm water if they required it.