HL Deb 23 July 1934 vol 93 cc871-4

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Viscount Gage.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly:

[The EARL OF ONSLOW in the Chair.]

Clauses 1 to 3 agreed to.

Clause 4 [Statement of grounds of refusal of relief, etc., to be furnished on application]:


The three Amendments to this clause are drafting Amendments. I beg to move.

Amendments moved—

Page 4, line 1, leave out ("Any decision refusing relief as aforesaid") and insert ("Whenever any such decision as aforesaid is intimated to an applicant for relief, the intimation")

Page 4, line 2, leave out ("the applicant") and insert ("him")

Page 4, line 3, leave out ("this section") and insert ("the foregoing subsection").—(Viscount Gage.)

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 5 and 6 agreed to.

Clause 7:

Training of and performance of work by

poor persons.

"(2) Subject to any regulations which may be made by the Department, any able-bodied person applying for or in receipt of outdoor relief may, as a condition of receiving or continuing to receive such relief, be required by the local authority to perform, work suited to the person's age, sex, strength and aptitude if the authority consider it expedient so to require in the particular case:

Provided that no person shall be required to perform any work otherwise than at a work centre provided under this section or at or in connection with any institution maintained by the authority for the purposes of the principal Act, and on a certificate by a medical officer of the authority that he is physically fit to perform the work."

VISCOUNT GAGE moved to add to the proviso in subsection (2): "which certificate may, in the case of a person who has a regular medical attendant, be given only after consultation with such medical attendant wherever there is a reasonable opportunity of consulting with him." The noble Viscount said: This is an Amendment to fulfil an undertaking given in another place. Subsection (2) of Clause 7 proposes that the local authority may in particular cases require an able-bodied poor person to perform work, at a work centre or at or in connection with a poor law institution, as a condition of receiving outdoor relief. No person can be required to perform work except on a certificate by a medical officer of the local authority that he is physically fit to perform the work. The purpose of the Amendment is to ensure that the medical officer of the local authority, who may have no knowledge of the person's medical history, will, by consultation with the person's regular doctor, be aware of the medical history of the case before granting a certificate.

Amendment moved— Page 5, line 23, at end insert the said words.—(Viscount Gage.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 7, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 8 to 10 agreed to.

Clause 11:

Outdoor relief to members of friendly societies, etc.

11.—(1) In affording outdoor relief to any person a local authority shall disregard—

  1. (c) the first one pound of any wounds or disability pension of which he, or any other person whose resources the authority take into account in relieving him, is in receipt; and
  2. (d) any maternity benefit.

VISCOUNT GAGE moved, in subsection (1), after paragraph (b), to insert the following new paragraph: (c) the "whole of any maternity benefit payable in respect of his own or his wife's insurance under the last-mentioned Acts, exclusive of any increase of such benefit by way of additional benefit and of any second maternity benefit within the meaning of those Acts; and.

The noble Viscount said: The words proposed to be inserted are to be substituted for the words "any maternity benefit" in paragraph (d). The provision that any maternity benefit shall be disregarded was inserted by an Amendment accepted in another place. That Amendment was accepted in principle on the clear understanding that words such as are now proposed would be added. The amended provision will secure that the normal maternity benefit of 40s. cannot be treated as ordinary income available for the maintenance of the household. It is similar in terms to the provision in Section 33 of the Unemployment Act, 1934, relating to the determination of the need of applicants under Part II of that Act. The normal maternity benefit is 40s. In the case of a married woman who is herself insured under the Health Insurance Acts a second or double maternity benefit is generally payable. In some cases the amount of benefit is increased by way of additional benefits. Authorities will be compulsorily required to disregard the normal benefit, and it would be within their discretion in an individual case to ignore any increased or second maternity benefit if they considered that the special needs of the case justified it. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 6, line 26, at end insert the said new paragraph.—(Viscount Gage.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


The next Amendment is purely consequential.

Amendment moved— Page 6, line 40, leave out from ("receipt") to the end of line 41.—(Viscount Gage.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 11, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

Schedule agreed to.