§ Mr. F. ROBERTS
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the majority Report of the Royal Commission referred to the unsatisfactory condition, as to medical relief, of some of the districts where the only method of obtaining an order for the doctor was from the relieving officer, and that officials of his Department stated in their evidence before the Commission that if the overseers were abolished it would be necessary in the country districts to give their relief powers to some local officer or to 48W the parish guardian; and whether, in the light of these facts, he will have the draft Order in Council reconsidered?
§ Sir K. WOOD
I would refer the right hon. Member to the reply given to his earlier question of the 10th instant. Such evidence as was given by officers of the Department was to the effect that no practical hardship would result from the abolition of the overseers; one inspector suggested that the power of the overseers might be given to the local guardians. The Order in Council has been made after lying on the Table for the prescribed period, and my right hon. Friend does not think it is necessary to reconsider the matter.
§ Mr. ROBERTS
asked the Minister of Health by what method it was ascertained that the amount of relief administered by the overseers during the last five years was less than £500 in all; whether this included the cost of relief which was adopted by the guardians and repaid by the overseer's, and included in the relieving officer's accounts, or only the cost of relief which was not repaid by the guardians, and was submitted by the overseers to the auditor in the overseers' own accounts; what amount of the £500, if any, was spent on women in advanced pregnancy or in confinement and how many orders were given to women in the like condition for the doctor or for the workhouse?
§ Sir K. WOOD
The information given is derived from the annua) returns made by the clerks to guardians in which the whole expenditure of the overseers on relief is stated, irrespective of any repayment by the guardians. I regret that the information sought in the second and third parts of the question is not available.