HC Deb 22 July 1914 vol 65 cc458-9W

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether, in view of his powers under the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1834, Section 48, to define and specify and direct the execution of duties of relieving officers, and his powers under the Act of 1834 and other Statutes to make an Order empowering the relieving officers of West Ham to administer all the out-relief which the guardians of West Ham could have administered and have declined to administer, he will say why the statement was contained in a recent letter from the Local Government Board to West Ham board that the responsibility for any difficulty which may arise, and for any hardship which may be entailed on the poor in consequence of the failure of the guardians to carry out this duty, will rest with them and them alone; and whether, having regard to the importance of healthy homes for children, he will repeal Article VIII. of the Relief Regulation Order, 1911, so as to enable boards of guardians if they think fit to pay rent direct to landlords and to give the guardians the opportunity of selecting a sanitary dwelling instead of merely giving money to the out-reliefest parent to pay the rent, seeing that, by this means, the guardians will more readily be able to rent a sanitary house than the recipient of out-relief would for the same money?


I am not prepared to accept the interpretation placed by the hon. Member on the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1834, and I adhere to the statement in the letter from the Local Government Board referred to in the question. In answer to the second part of the question, I do not think it would be expedient to rescind the provision in the Relief Regulation Order which prohibits guardians from paying rent direct to the landlord. The Order does not preclude the guardians from taking the amount of the rent into account when determining the relief which may properly be given.