HC Deb 10 May 1934 vol 289 cc1337-8

7.41 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 76, line 17, to leave out "or affect any powers or duties."

There are three Amendments on the Paper dealing with this matter, with the object of securing that the board shall deal with all conditions of sudden or urgent necessity arising in the cases of recipients of allowances. It is undesirable that the obligations of a relieving officer under Section 17 of the Act of 1930 should apply to any person in the area, because of the possibility of assistance being obtained from two sources. It is conceivable that a man receiving an allowance from the Unemployment Assistance Board would be in urgent necessity by the end of the week, and that he might require help in kind from the relieving officer.


I beg to second the Amendment.

7.44 p.m.


I am afraid that we cannot accept this Amendment for very much the same reason that we could not accept a similar Amendment moved by the hon. Member earlier this afternoon. Our intention in drafting the Bill was to leave the Poor Law as the residuary legatee. It is obvious that it is even more important in a case like this, of sudden and urgent necessity, that there should be one person only whom everyone knows is the right person to whom to apply. Quite apart from the absurdity of setting up a parallel organisation throughout the country, if the board had an officer whose duty it was to relieve some of those necessities, and the local authority had a similar officer, time might be lost if there were a dispute, between the two officers, as to whether a man came under the care of the first or the second. One of the occasions upon which sudden and urgent necessity must often arise is the question of medical assistance, that of a man or a woman suddenly needing an order for the hospital. Under the Bill the board have no power to take that into account. It is left to the local authority, and if the Amendment were accepted a man who normally went to the board's officer and found that he required medical assistance would have to go to a different officer to get the necessary order of admission to the local infirmary. I think my hon. Friend, on reflection, will realise that we could not possibly accept the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.