§ 48. Mr. J. HUDSON
asked the Prime Minister whether the Government has 1578 received from the Huddersfield Board of Guardians a resolution expressing their concern and distress at finding so many male applicants for relief who have fought and been maimed and disabled in the great War, and deploring their becoming chargeable to the Poor Law; how many other boards of guardians have forwarded similar resolutions; and whether the Government contemplates any modification of the present pensions administration in order to meet this situation?
I have been asked to reply. Receipt of a resolution from the board of guardians in, question cannot be traced, but representations in identical terms to the effect stated in the question have been received from some 60 boards of guardians. I would remind the hon. Member that the duties of my right hon. Friend are confined by Statute to the provision, subject to the Royal Warrants and War Pensions Acts, of compensation and of medical treatment for disablement caused by War service only. So far as any of the cases referred to are of this type, it is open to the board of guardians to take the action indicated in the Circular addressed to all boards of guardians by the Ministry of Health in October, 1923. Any assistance that may otherwise be required by ex-service men in consequence of ill-health or unemployment necessarily falls to be provided under the arrangements in operation for the civil population at large, which are outside the purview of my right hon. Friend's Department.
§ Mr. HUDSON
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman not aware that these 60 boards of guardians, when passing this resolution, had, in mind the Circulars which have gone out from his and other Government Departments; and, in view of the fact that they continue to object to the position that confronts them, cannot some further step be taken to deal with this issue?
As far as the Ministry of Pensions is concerned, it has always been carefully and must explicitly laid down that the question of employment or unemployment does not enter into the case at all.
Is it correct to say that all the industrial boards of guardians in Wales, both 1579 North and South, are represented in the 60 boards of guardians who have protested against this?
Is it the view of the hon. and gallant Gentleman's Department that pensions should be considered by boards of guardians when they are considering the amount of Poor Law relief to be given?