HC Deb 02 April 1925 vol 182 cc1491-2

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the very sparse amount of information given by the last published criminal statistics as to prosecutions for offences against the Poor Law, he will in future give more detailed information; whether he will now state for the most recent year that he is able the number of prosecutions or imprisonments of casual paupers for refusal to perform task, destroying or damaging clothes or other property of the guardians, and assaults on officers, respectively; whether he is aware that some of the offences of casual paupers are occasioned by the task being more severe than that given to a criminal, and by the omission of the guardians to give relief and accommodation to which the destitute wayfarer is entitled under 43 Eliz., c. 2, and the Regulations of the Minister of Health; and whether he will review all the circumstances with a view to action being taken?

The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Neville Chamberlain)

I have been asked to reply. I am afraid I am unable to supplement the information given in the published criminal statistics. I am not aware that the offences committed by casual paupers are due to either of the causes suggested in the question, though I shall be glad to give consideration to any particular case which the hon. Member may wish to bring to my notice. As regards the last part of the question, I am issuing consolidated and revised Regulations in regard to the relief of casual paupers, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy.

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