§ 42. Mr. JOHN
asked the Minister of Health how many able-bodied single men and able-bodied married men have been paid out-door relief by the Bridgend and Pontypridd guardians, respectively, for each week from 1st October, 1928, and the scale of relief paid to each person per week; and what available room is there at these institutions for additional inmates?
I regret that the exact information for which the hon. Member asks is not available. During the month of October, 1928, the average number of men ordinarily engaged in some regular occupation who were in receipt of out-relief in the Bridgend and Cowbridge and Pontypridd Unions was 597 and 2,924 respectively, and the average weekly amount of relief per person in money and kind afforded to these men and to their dependants was 5s. 1½d., and 4s. 4¾d. respectively. On the night of the 11th February, 1928—the latest date for which figures are available—there were 83 vacant beds in the Bridgend and Cowbridge general institution, and 184 vacant beds in the Pontypridd general institution.
§ Mr. JOHN
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the guardians at their meeting on the 8th December admitted that there was no room available for the present inmates of the institution; and, if that be so, how are they going to accept the 3,000 men or more who are not in receipt of unemployment benefit and who live in the neighbourhood of the institution?
I am not aware that at the present time any difficulty is being found in finding accommodation for those in receipt of relief.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
Is it not the case that there are some thousands of able-bodied men who are refused Poor Law relief under instructions from the Ministry of Health; and is the Minister aware that if they make application for indoor relief, there is no accommodation available?
I am not aware that what is indicated in the hon. Member's last statement is the case.
§ Mr. JOHN
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the inspector, at the meeting on the 8th December, complained that the scale provided by the Bridgend Board of Guardians was too high—that the 5s. a week that they were giving was too high, or rather excessive—and does the right hon. Gentleman agree with the inspector that 5s. a week is excessive for outdoor relief?
I do not think that that is what the inspector said. I think be said that it was higher than in other comparable unions.
That may be so, but I cannot remember what all the inspectors say on all these occasions.
§ 43. Mr. JOHN
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the Bridgend Board of Guardians, at their meeting on 8th December, were reprimanded by the Ministry's inspector for granting outdoor relief to able-bodied men; that the scale of relief was on too generous a basis; that only institutional relief is to be given in future; and that test work is to be a condition of relief; whether the inspector was acting under the Minister's instructions; and, if not, will he take steps to counteract the inspector's orders?