HC Deb 11 April 1927 vol 205 cc44-5W

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that, in consequence of the abolition of the overseers and the omission to appoint anyone, except the relieving officers, to exercise the overseers' powers, under Section 54 of the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1834, of giving temporary relief or orders for the doctor, workhouse, or casual ward, in cases of sudden urgent necessity or sudden dangerous illness, large portions of England and Wales are now four or five miles, and some portions eight or 10 miles, away from anyone who has power to give such emergency relief; and whether he could devise arrangements by which the police in rural districts might communicate at once with the relieving officer in such cases and, until he is able to act, give such relief as the emergency requires?


The general question of Poor Law relief is not within my purview, but I have been in communication with the Minister of Health and as at present advised I do not think there is need for me to issue any special instruction to the police in the sense suggested. The police will continue to deal with cases of sudden emergency as they have done in the past.


asked the Minister of Health what Poor Law areas he regarded as comparable with Lincoln when he recently insisted on the reduction of the scale of special unemployment relief as a condition of sanctioning a further overdraft to the Lincoln Board of Guardians; and whether he can state the amount of relief paid in such areas to a man, wife, and three children?


There are 109 unions, including 32 with large industrial areas, in which, according to the information in my right hon. Friend's possession, the scale upon which relief is administered to able-bodied men and their dependants does not generally exceed the unemployment benefit scale. Subject to the qualifications mentioned in the reply to an earlier question put by the hon. Member, the amount of relief paid in such areas in a case such as that put by him would not exceed 29s. per week.