HC Deb 19 March 1925 vol 181 cc2459-61
36. Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

asked the Minister of Health whether the

Year ending March. Total Expenditure in England and Wales on the relief of the poor and purposes connected therewith. Amount (included in Column 2) in respect, of purely administrative charges not allocated to Institutional and Domiciliary relief (e.g., salaries and other remuneration and superannuation of Clerks and Treasurers to Boards of Guardians and their assistants, stationery and other office expenses, upkeep of hoard rooms, fees for certificates under the Lunacy Acts).
1. 2. 1.
£ £
1921 31,924,954 1,186,919
1922 42,272,555 1,236,243
1923 41,934,437 1,182,302
1924 38,000,000 1,185,000
The amounts entered for 1923–24 are estimates.

56. Mr. T. THOMSON

asked the Minister of Health in how many cases he has exercised his powers to defer payment of interest and the repayment of principal of temporary loans made to boards of guardians for the relief of the able-bodied unemployed: and, in view of the extra burden placed on local authorities by the increase in the bank rate, will ho use his powers more freely in this direction in the future?


Out of eight cases in which loans have been advanced to boards of guardians in England and Wales on the recommendation of the Gosehen Committee, payment of interest has been deferred in three cases and repayment of principal deferred in seven cases. I have no doubt that in considering any future applications the Committee will continue, subject to the conditions prescribed by the Treasury, to take all relevant considerations into account.

Government intend to bring in legislation during the present Session to amend the exixsting Law regarding Poor Law relief?


No, Sir.

39. Mr. CLARRY

asked the Minister of Health the total amount expended in Poor Law relief and the proportion thereof absorbed in purely administrative charges during each of the last four years?


As the reply contains a number of figures, I propose, with my hon. Friend's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following in the information:


Has the right hon. Gentleman considered the deferment of payments in cases of loans, the expense of which has already increased on account of the rise in the bank rate and in view of the heavy charges on these overburdened districts in respect of existing loans?


Does the right hon. Gentleman propose to introduce legislation for the assistance of areas which are overburdened by rates because of the provision of Poor Law relief for unemployed men: and is he aware that in the Borough of Merthyr there is likely to be an increase in the rates of 2s. in the £ owing to unemployment relief?


In answer to the first supplementary question, any application made with the object which the hon. Member has in mind will receive due consideration. In answer to the second supplementary question, I do not know exactly what kind of legislation the hon. Member has in mind, but I think the best way of dealing with this matter is to increase employment.


Why do you not do so?.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that shipbuilding con-tracts are being lost all over the country owing to the fact that the wages of foreign labour and the rates of exchange are generally lower and that British shipbuilding in greatly handicapped?