HC Deb 20 February 1924 vol 169 cc1765-6W

asked the Minister of Health whether Thomas Coxall, who died of starvation at Haddenham in December last, aged about 68, voluntarily left the workhouse or whether he was discharged; will he inquire as to this man's treatment in the workhouse, what take he had before he left, and whether he was permitted to go out of the workhouse sometimes; whether this workhouse is conducted in a humane manner; and what is the name of the union to which the workhouse belongs?


Thomas Coxall left the Ely workhouse voluntarily. While in the workhouse he did light work, assisting in the cleaning of knives and forks and the peeling of potatoes, and he was allowed leave of absence every Sunday afternoon and on one half day and one whole day in the month. The workhouse, which belongs to the Ely Guardians, is, according to my information, conducted in a most humane manner.


asked the Minister of Health, with reference to the verdicts of death from starvation or accelerated by privation during December last, whether James Downey, aged 76, who died of starvation in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was in receipt of an Old Age Pension; whether, seeing that the guardians could have given him, whether he had a pension or not, medical and outdoor relief and so prevented him from falling into the condition in which he was found, he will inquire whether it is the practice of the Newcastle Guardians to supplement Old Age Pensions when necessary; and, if so, whether they will let it be known in Newcastle so that old age pensioners may apply?


James Downey was in receipt of an old age pension. The guardians could have given him medical and out-door relief, and it is their practice to supplement old age pensions where necessary. Downey, however, made no application to them, and I understand that he had other means besides his old age pension. I am informed that the practice of the guardians is well known in Newcastle.