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Poor Law Relief

Volume 155: debated on Thursday 15 June 1922

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asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that one out of every 28 of the population of England and Wales (1,366,569 in all) on the last day of 1921 received Poor Law relief; that that was 141 per cent. more than in 1920; and that on 5th November, 1921, the figures were 1,519,328, the highest ever recorded; if he is aware of the deplorable financial conditions in which West Ham and many other Poor Law guardians find themselves at the present time; and if the Government intend taking any action in the matter?

I am well aware of the large numbers of persons at present in receipt of relief in certain unions and of the financial difficulties arising in those unions. Large contributions have been made by the Government for the relief of unemployment, and I hope that the arrangements made to assist the guardians by enabling them to spread their abnormal expenditure over a number of years will prove sufficient.