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Casuals (Stone-Pounding)

Volume 236: debated on Thursday 6 March 1930

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asked the Minister of Health whether a Draft Order for regulation of casual wards has now been placed before him: whether the task of stone- pounding is still imposed by some, and, if so, which, boards of guardians on casuals; will he alter the draft order so as to exclude stone-pounding, and either to exclude also stone-breaking or to make it a task of hours instead of amount; and will he let the amount of stone to be broken and size to which it is to be broken be prescribed by the council and not by a committee?

The Draft Order to which the hon. Member refers is merely one consolidating the provisions of the large number of existing Poor Law Orders which are still operative and has been prepared to meet the coming changes in Poor Law administration. As regards the second part of the hon. Member's question, the task of stone-pounding is imposed by certain boards of guardians; it is one of several alternative tasks allowed by the existing regulations and my approval to its imposition is not required. I am not in a position to state which boards of guardians impose the task. As regards the third and fourth parts of the question, I have recently appointed a Departmental Committee to consider the administration of the law-relating to the relief of the casual poor and I propose to await their report before considering any alteration of the existing regulations on this subject.

Year ended 31st December.State-assisted houses completed.* Unassisted houses having a rateable value not exceeding £78.Total.
By Local Authority.By Private Enterprise.
Chatham.Gillingham.Chatham.Gillingham.Chatham.Gillingham.Chatham.Gillingham.
1919
1920
19215210552105
19226734†16†3483
19231199111991
1924298890140119228
192549164239472258
192638139175157192182
1927168961192081482301386
192811242159263468305
192984133496674129174829
Totals3425134611,4773284771,1312,467
* These figures are for years ending 30th September and are not available prior to 1st October, 1922. It is not possible to differentiate between houses erected by Local Authorities and those erected by Private Enterprise.
† Completed under the Housing (Additional Powers) Act, 1919, between 1st April, 1920, and 31st December, 1922.