HC Deb 23 April 1923 vol 163 cc64-5W

asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider the possibility of tabulating a scale of relief to be given to ordinary out-relief cases as well as to the unemployed which shall be used universally throughout the Kingdom and thus remove the present anomaly which permits one board of guardians to be generous while another can go to the other extreme and cut down the relief to a scale on which it is impossible for the applicants to exist?


I do not think it would be either practicable or desirable to lay down a scale of relief which would be applicable to all the varying circumstances of individual applicants for relief in all parts of the country.


asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that, in 1919, an inquiry was made by Poor Law inspectors into the administration of relief to widows and children in 78 unions to see what results had been obtained from the Local Government Board circular of 8th October, 1914, on that subject, and that the Report (Cmd. 744) states that the circular largely escaped the notice of boards of guardians; and whether he will inform this House what steps have since been taken to make sure that the proposals in this circular, to which the Government has referred as a satisfactory alternative to widows' pensions, are being taken notice of by boards of guardians to-day?


I am aware of the statement in the Report to which the hon. Member refers. The detailed reports which were made by the inspectors in 1919 and the publication of the general survey in the following year served to draw the attention of the guardians to the principles enunciated in the circular of 1914, and the inspectors continue to impress upon the guardians, wherever this is necessary, the importance of conforming with these principles in practice.