§ 43. Mr. R. RICHARDSON
asked the Minister of Health in what unions stone-pounding is now employed as a task; and whether he will abolish it when he. makes new regulations for the casual wards?
I am sending the hon. Member a list of the unions in which, according to the recent survey of casual wards, stone-pounding is now employed as a task. As regards the second part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a previous question by the hon. Member for Rotherhithe, of which I am sending him a copy.
§ Mr. RICHARDSON
Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that stone-pounding is both useless and expensive, and that it ought to be abolished, and cannot work of another character be given?
§ Mr. RICHARDSON
I suggest that some land be purchased and that the men be put on it.
44. The hon. Member further asked the Minister of Health the names of the unions where, before the decision of Rex v. Baddely, the guardians had power to give stone-pounding as a task, and the dates of and the means whereby they obtained the power; whether the guardians sought and the Local Government Board, or previous authority, gave the power with the object of preventing destitute wayfarers from obtaining relief or, if not, with what other object?
I am sending the hon. Member a list of the unions in which the Local Government Board had approved stone-pounding as an alternative task for casuals before the decision to which he refers, and the years in which approval was given. The law contemplates that casuals shall be required to perform v task before discharge, and stone-pounding was recommended for this purpose by the Departmental Committee on Vagrancy which reported in 1906.