HC Deb 22 February 1922 vol 150 cc1887-8
63. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that the West Ham Board of Guardians are relieving about 10,000 cases each week at a cost of about £15,000; that, this time last year they were only paying out about £8,000 per week; that they have already paid out £590,00 in unemployment relief; and that they are £330,000 overdrawn at the bank; and whether the Government is prepared to give any financial relief to the West Ham Board of Guardians and other guardians in other parts of the country in consequence of the heavy burden that the ratepayers are called upon to meet?

The MINISTER of HEALTH (Sir Alfred Mond)

I am aware of the circumstances of the West Ham Union. I have sanctioned the payment of interest by the guardians on an overdraft of £250,000 up to the 31st March, and I am considering a further request which they have made for a loan from the Government of £300,000.


Is it the intention of the Government to relieve places like West Ham and the districts of other local authorities in many parts of the country who are bearing this terrible burden? This state of things cannot go on for ever.


We all hope that it will not go on for ever. The Govern- ment is assisting these localities by enabling them to raise loans spread over a considerable period.


Does not relieving the guardians in that direction simply mean that they will have to pay in the long run?


We cannot enter into debate on that subject.