§ Mr. ESSEX
asked the President of the Local Government Board (1) how many times Charles Bowles, of Donnington, Stow-on-the-Wold, has appeared before the justices there in connection with action taken to compel him to contribute to the support of his father; what is the total amount of the costs and payments he has personally paid; for how much has he been made liable; and whether he has to support himself and his wife and two children on a weekly wage of 12s.; (2) whether in January or February of this year the justices of Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucester, in condemning one Charles Bowles to contribute to the support of his father, were so fully convinced of the hardship upon the poor of the law as commonly interpreted in such cases that they paid the man's costs and fine from their own pockets; and whether he will take steps to secure the alteration of the law in such cases?
§ Mr. BURNS
I learn that Charles Bowles has appeared twice before the justices in respect of an order made upon him in 1907 for payment of a shilling a week for the support of his father. The total amount of the payments due from him since June, 1907, including 10s. costs, is £6 11s. 0d. Of this sum, he has paid £3 19s. 0d.; two guineas have been remitted by the guardians. The sum of 10s., which he was ordered by the justices on the 1st June last to pay in respect of arrears was, as I understand, found for him by the members of the Bench. His wages in 1907, when the order was made upon him, were said to be 13s. a week. At the hearing on the 1st June, 1911, he stated they were 12s. a week, and that a daughter aged nineteen was then at home dependent on him. I am not at present satisfied that an alteration of the law is needed, but I will consider the matter further.