§ Mr. GROVES
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the growing practice of boards of guardians, especially the West Ham Board, to confiscate the old age pensions due weekly and credit them towards the cost of medical services supplied to the pensioner while he or she may be an inmate of any institution under the board; whether he is aware of the hardships frequently involved where the payment of rent of a room is dependent upon the pension payable; and whether he will 1622W cause instructions to be issued to ensure that where such pensioners become temporarily inmates of an institution under the Poor Law guardians an amount equal to the weekly rental shall be so allowed?
§ Sir K. WOOD
It is the duty of a board of guardians to take all reasonable steps for the recovery of the cost of any relief which they may afford to sick or other persons. My right hon. Friend is not aware that in the exercise of this duty the guardians have inflicted hardships upon the persons receiving relief, and he has no authority to issue such an instruction as is suggested in the last part of the question, even if he were satisfied that action of this kind is desirable.