asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the disparity existing between different provincial Poor Law areas with regard to the numbers of people receiving relief, and that whereas the numbers per 1,000 who were receiving relief on 31st December, 1921, in Liverpool, Sheffield, and Middlesbrough were 131, 122, and 109, respectively, the average number receiving relief in 34 other provincial unions was only 14 per 1,000; and, as these figures show a greater inequality of burden than exists in the London area, will he take steps whereby provincial Poor Law unions may have the advantage of relief similar to that afforded to the London unions by the equalisation of rates provisions contained in the Local Authorities (Financial Provisions) Act which the Government passed last year to assist necessitous London areas?
I am aware of the disparity to which the hon. Member refers, and I have considered whether it would be possible to adopt some such plan as he suggests. But in view of the absence among the provincial unions of the common interest which is the basis of the Metropolitan arrangements, I doubt whether any such plan is practicable.
Has the right hon. Baronet considered whether a basis the same as the necessitous school area grant might not be worked out to get over the difficulties he foresees?
I have considered that very carefully, but do not see my way to get over the difficulty.
asked the Minister of Health whether he will state the four boards of guardians in London who have the largest numbers of persons receiving outdoor relief at the present time; can he give the numbers in each case; will he state if any of these boards are paying above the scale of outdoor relief laid down by his Department; and, if so, which ones, and how much above the scale?
The four boards of guardians who have the largest numbers of persons in receipt of relief are Poplar, Greenwich, Wandsworth, and Camberwell. I am sending the hon. Member a statement of the details for which he asks.