§ 28. Sir A. WILSON
asked the Minister of Health, with reference to page 244 of his last annual Report (Cmd. 4664), how many casual wards have been closed as redundant in the last three years; what is the average number of persons relieved in casual wards during 1934 as compared with the average number for the year 1931–32; and whether he is satisfied that there is no overcrowding as a consequence of the closure of casual wards?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Mr. Shakespeare)
For the three years ending 1404 to-day, my right hon. Friend has sanctioned the closing of 115 casual wards. The average number of persons relieved in casual wards from the 1st April, 1934, to date, is 12,616. For the corresponding period in the year 1931–2, the figure was 12,462. The policy adopted in this matter is based on the report of the Departmental Committee on Vagrancy, which made a full inquiry into the subject. The wards closed are redundant wards, and my right hon. Friend is satisfied that there has been no overcrowding as a result of the policy, which has been coupled with extensions and improvements in many of the wards which remain open.