HC Deb 05 July 1934 vol 291 cc2184-5

10.25 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 5, line 34, after "provide" to insert: or make arrangements for the provision of. The Clause as it stands deals with the provision by local authorities of special accommodation in institutions for various categories of inmates. It has been pointed out that there might be classes or categories of poor persons of whom a particular authority would have very few but for whom special treatment was desirable, and that it would be a convenience if a local authority in that case instead of starting an institution for that special category, could make provision in the existing institution of another local authority.

10.26 p.m.


We put down an Amendment in Committee on this point and, having looked up the speeches of the Under-Secretary, I gather that the classes referred to are aged people as against young people, and males as against females. I take it that that is what is intended—that there should be separate accommodation for each or any of those classes—and that he does not propose to segregate these people into various classes and types.

10.27 p.m.


No, certainly not. But it was pointed out that there might be, for instance in the area of a country local authority, one or two cases of epilepsy and that special treatment for epileptics might not be practicable inside the area of that local authority; whereas some urban authority or some large neighbouring authority, might have a very good home for epileptics to which it would be desirable to send those persons.

10.28 p.m.


We had to make a great fight in Scotland against old couples being separated when they went to the poorhouse after having lived happily together for many years even though in the poorest circumstances. I have known cases of people who had lived for 50 years in the one house and who when they were taken to the poorhouse were separated and never saw each other again. Can the hon. Gentleman assure us that no local authority will be able to read into this Clause that they have power to order the separation of old people in those circumstances?


I can answer the hon. Member's question definitely in the affirmative.


I take it that the regulations to be issued in this case will go through the forms proposed in regard to the other regulations?


That is so.

Amendment agreed to.