HC Deb 13 July 1932 vol 268 c1263
Lieut.-Colonel WATTS-MORGAN

I have been requested by certain of my constituents to ask the leave of the House to present a petition signed by 10,000 workers of the Ferndale district of East Rhondda against the Means Test. The petition opens: To the honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The humble petition of the undersigned members of the working classes of the Ferndale district of East Rhondda sheweth: The petition states seven grounds against the Means Test, but I will enumerate only three of them. The first is: That the Means Test as applied by the Government to large numbers of men and women of this district is operating in an extremely harsh manner by depriving them of unemployment benefit. The second is: It is proving destructive of family life, driving sons and daughters from the homes of their parents, and disturbing those filial relationships which have been the characteristics of Welsh Christian households for generations in the past. The third is: Numbers are finding it less and less possible to meet the rent charges of their landlords, and the courts are crowded with people under threat of being rendered homeless, especially in this district as it has for a long time past been a necessitous area. I content myself with enumerating those three grounds. There are four other grounds, and the petition concludes by saying: Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that your honourable House will suspend without delay the operation of an Act which is devastating in its effect upon the lives and well-being of the British people. And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

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