§ 23. Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been drawn by the manager of the insurance department in Leicester of the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives to the excessive rates of sickness in the parishes of Earl Shilton and Barwell, in Leicestershire; whether he is aware that the rural district council responsible for these parishes passed a resolution to adopt certain provisions of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1907, in 1913, and then rescinded the resolution; that in March last the council again declined to put these powers into operation; that several members of the council are the owners of insanitary houses, three of them 576 having had notices served upon them by the sanitary inspector within the last two years, one of these having had three notices and six others having received personal warnings of sanitary defects in their property after inspection; and that at a recent meeting of the council, on a motion to increase the salary of the sanitary inspector, of eight members who voted against it seven had received either formal or personal notices regarding the insanitary condition of property which they owned; and whether, in view of these facts, the Local Government Board proposes to take any action regarding this council?
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
The answer to the first three paragraphs of the question is in the affirmative, but, as regards the statements contained in the two succeeding paragraphs, my right hon. Friend has no information beyond a letter from the union mentioned in the question. In regard to the last part of the question, my right hon. Friend does not think he could, in the present circumstances, press for a general conversion of privies into water closets, nor for the erection of workmen's dwellings by the rural district council. The local authority are, however, preparing a housing scheme, and in many ways have carried out some improvements in the sanitary arrangements of the parishes during the last two years.