HC Deb 09 February 1922 vol 150 cc327-8W
Captain GEE

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the general opinion that relief granted by boards of guardians on account of unemployment is due to a national emergency, he will consider the advisability of temporarily suspending Section 46, Sub-section (b) of the Local Government Act, 1894?


I have been asked to reply to this question. I have received some representations upon the matter to which my hon. Friend refers, and I am giving it my consideration.


asked the Minister of Health whether, seeing that the Local Authorities (Financial Provisions) Act, 1921, provides that, for the half-year current on 10th November, 1921, and for following half-years up to 31st December, 1922, the expenses of Metropolitan boards of guardians with regard to out-relief shall be paid out of the Metropolitan Common Poor Fund, provided that the scale of relief is not in excess of such scale as the Minister may prescribe or in contravention of his Regulations, and that the Minister has issued a circular (1922, No. 3) stating that such expenses will be repaid up to February, 1922, provided that they do not exceed 10d. per day for each person on out-relief, he will explain for what reasons he has adopted a different basis of repayment from that prescribed by Parliament?


The Act came into force on the 10th November, 1921, and it was not possible to issue Regulations under it till early in January, as much previous consultations with boards of guardians was requisite. The Act is retrospective as from the 1st October, 1921, and a special arrangement was required for calculating charges on the Common Poor Fund in respect of the period until the new accounting machinery was in order. I was advised that a flat rate could be prescribed under the Act so long as the sums thereby charged to the Fund did mat exceed the amounts estimated to have been ordinarily chargeable under the Regulations, and this arrangement was accordingly laid down in the circular to which the hon. Member refers.