asked the First Commissioner of Works, as representing the Secretary for Scotland, if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Govan parish council are finding it very difficult to meet the heavy expenditure owing to payment of relief to able-bodied unemployed; whether he is aware that the present rate in Govan parish is 15s. 10d. per head of the population, while in the neighbouring parish of Cathcart the rate is only 5¾d. per head; and what action can he take to equalise the burden?
My Noble Friend is aware that many parishes in the industrial areas in Scotland, including the parish of Govan, are incurring heavy expenditure on account of the payment of relief to the able-bodied unemployed. The amounts expended to date in the parishes of Govan and Gathcart per head of the population are substantially as stated in the question. Provision was made in the Poor Law Emergency Provisions (Scotland) Act, 1921, to enable parish councils to spread the burden over a number of years. The whole position of parish councils in relation to the relief of the able-bodied unemployed is at present being examined.