HC Deb 07 February 1929 vol 224 cc1931-2

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the conditions prevailing in certain mining areas of Durham and Northumberland; and whether, in view of the fact that similar conditions prevail in many other industrial areas, he will withdraw his order that out-door relief shall not be granted to able-bodied men and their dependants, and restore, for the time being and until some better means of assistance is found, the conditions which prevailed before the recent tightening up of his regulations?

The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Chamberlain)

The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, I make full allowance for exceptional conditions where they prevail as well as for the physical difficulties of introducing task work when the number of applicants for relief is high, but I am convinced that, in the general interest, a return to the policy embodied in the Relief Regulation Order, 1911, ought, so far as possible, to be secured.


In arriving at that decision has the Minister of Health taken into account the amount of distress due to increasing unemployment during the past year?


Yes, Sir.


In view of the fact that in South Wales and elsewhere there are many thousands out of work, and that a large percentage of them are single young men, can the right hon. Gentleman not do something for them as they are not being given any relief at all under the regulations?