Mr. T. THOMSON:52.
asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that in many industrial areas, owing to the abnormal amount of unemployment, the local poor rates have increased fourfold; and what assistance is the Government prepared to give to such necessitous areas as the county borough of Middlesbrough, where out relief has increased from an average weekly charge on the rates of £377 in 1914 to £6,500 at the present time?
The Minister of Health has at present under his consideration an application for sanction to the raising of a loan for the assistance of the Middlesbrough Union. He has no reason to suppose that the arrangements made for enabling the guardians to spread a portion of their expenses over a term of years will not prove adequate in this and the other industrial areas to which reference is made.
I again ask the Prime Minister is he aware of the total inadequacy of short term loans of six months and five years to deal with the question of necessitous boroughs, and will he receive a deputation representing typical necessitous boroughs on this question before the House rises?