§ 32. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Minister of Health the kind of test work the West Ham Poor Law Commissioners insisted upon being undertaken by men receiving 1937 Poor Law relief; if he is aware that one man refused such test work with the result that he was sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment; what portion of the amount of 28s. per week paid to this man for his wife, four children, and himself was in cash and kind; whether this amount is the maximum allowed by the West Ham Poor Law Commissioners; and if he intends taking any action in the matter?
I am informed that the test work required to be performed by the West Ham Guardians may be any of the following tasks, namely, sawing and chopping wood, excavating sand and gravel, digging, mowing and similar work on the land, coaling and corn grinding. The reply to the second part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the third part, the relief paid was 31s. a week, of which 14s. was in cash and 17s. in kind. The guardians have no fixed scale of relief and no maximum is fixed by them. The case does not appear to me to require any action on my part.
§ 49. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Minister of Health if any definite arrangement has been made with the West Ham Corporation in respect to the outstanding loans and interest affecting the Poor Law union area; whether any consultation has taken place with the borough treasurer in this connection; whether his attention has been called to the published statement of the chief commissioner of the board of guardians stating the financial effect of the Local Government Bill in respect to the borough; and whether he proposes to issue a statement showing the financial rearrangements?
No such arrangement as the hon. Member refers to has been made, and no consultation with the corporation has yet taken place. I understand that the statement made by the chairman of the West Ham Board of Guardians was an estimate based on the latest available figures of the probable effect of the provisions of the Bill on the general ratepayers of the county borough. The financial arrangements to be made as regards the West Ham Union and the county borough will be announced as soon as possible.