HC Deb 21 February 1922 vol 150 cc1733-4W

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that in October last a deputation representative of parish councils attended at the Scottish Health Office and were given the authority to make up the wages of any workmen to £2per week; and whether, in view of this, he will make careful inquiries into the truth of the allegation that workmen employed full time at Scottish Oils, Limited, which is controlled by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, in which the Government is financially interested, have, in consequence of the lowness of their wage, been placed in the category of those entitled to Poor Law relief?


I am informed that at a meeting between the Board and a deputation from the Uphall Parish Council and the Scottish Shale Miners' Association, held on 25th September, 1921, in reply to a question from a member of the deputation, they were informed that if the parish council were satisfied that the wages earned by a man were not sufficient for the adequate support of himself and his family they might, in the special circumstances then prevailing, bring the income up to the level of the scale of relief being given. The Board, however, on considering the question, were of opinion that the answer might be interpreted as encouraging a parish council to supplement the wages of a workman on full time, and accordingly, within a clay or two of the date of the meeting, they notified the Inspector of Poor that the above reply must not be interpreted in this sense. Thereafter they issued an instruction to parish councils expressing very clearly the opinion that any such action on the part of a parish council was illegal. I would refer my hon. Friend to my answer to his question of the 14th instant. I am satisfied that in no case have the parish council paid any relief to workers employed whole time.

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