HC Deb 16 March 1922 vol 151 cc2400-1W

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the serious financial position of the West Ham Board of Guardians; that the overseers have stated that, in order to meet the deficit of their anticipated expenditure for the ensuing 26 weeks, they will require the sum of £1,000,000 for Poor Law purposes alone, equivalent to a rate of 6s. 1d. in the £ for the half-year, a further increase of 1s. 7d. in the £ as compared with the rate levied for the half-year now closing; that the board have before them a proposal to raise a loan to be spread over a period of five years for £300,000 at a high rate of interest, that the loan in question would relieve them but very little, as the numbers of persons in the union being relieved owing to unemployment are steadily increasing week by week, and there are no signs to lead the board to expect any diminution in these numbers; that such would only be a temporary palliative and leave the board at the end of the half-year, if not with an actual deficit to be raised by a further loan, with at least no funds at their disposal; and will he receive a deputation from the board and take action on the matter?


I am aware of the exceptional circumstances of the West Ham Union, and I have before me at present the application of the guardians for sanction to a loan of £300,000, the consideration of which, as an immediately practicable remedy, I will expedite as much as possible. I received a deputation from the guardians at the end of last September and I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by receiving a further deputation at the present time.