HC Deb 14 April 1927 vol 205 cc562-3W

asked the Minister of Health (1) if he is now in a position to state the result of his inquiries regarding the report of the master of the workhouse at the recent meeting of the Tiverton Board of Guardians, in which it was stated that 11 casuals were detained from Friday night's admission and 44 were admitted on Saturday night, that owing to lack of room he had to refuse one man who applied for admission, and that 31 were accommodated on the floor of the casuals' day-room and various passages; what was the size of the room on the floor of which the casuals were accommodated; whether the man refused was entitled to accommodation in the workhouse, or, if it was full, to outdoor relief under the Merthyr Tydfil case; and whether he will make it known that the regulations as to detention do not apply if their application involves overcrowding, or, if they do apply, whether he will modify them;

(2) whether the regulations as to detention of casuals in casual wards apply in cases where compliance with them would cause overcrowding; if not, will he make this known to boards of guardians; and, if they do not apply in such cases, will he modify them so that they shall not?


It is the fact that the number of casuals admitted to the Tiverton Workhouse on the night in question was abnormally high, and that mattresses and rugs Were provided for the excess number admitted on the floor of the corridor and the dayroom. The dayroom measures 25 feet by 12 feet. The accommodation at present provided by the guardians consists of 23 beds, and I am asking them to consider some further provision. As is indicated in the question, one man was provided with accommodation outside the institution, but I do not see in what way his position could be affected by the Merthyr Tydfil Judgment. The regulations as to detention apply in all cases, and it is the duty of the guardians' officers in a case of an unexpected influx of vagrants to make emergency arrangements for their accommodation or to provide for their relief outside the institution. I am not at present aware of grounds for a modification of the regulations in this respect.