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Oral Answers to Questions — Ex-Service Men (Poor Law Relief).

– in the House of Commons on 11th March 1926.

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Photo of Mr George Lansbury Mr George Lansbury , Poplar Bow and Bromley

63.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, married and single, and their dependants, resident in the Poplar Union, were in receipt of Poor Law relief during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men who were not inreceipt of unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr Joseph Compton Mr Joseph Compton , Manchester, Gorton

58.

asked the Minister of Health the number of ex-service men in the Manchester and Salford area now in receipt of Poor Law relief; and how many of these are drawing this relief as a result of being refused unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr William John Mr William John , Rhondda West

64.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, married and single, and their dependants, resident in the Pontypridd Union were in receipt of Poor Law relief, indoor or outdoor, during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men who were not in receipt of unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr Morgan Jones Mr Morgan Jones , Caerphilly

65.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, married or single, and their dependants, resident in the Methyr Tydfil Union were in receipt of Poor Law relief, indoor or outdoor, during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men who were not in receipt of unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

67.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, married or single, and their dependants, resident in the Shoreditch Union, were in receipt of Poor Law relief, indoor or outdoor, during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men not in receipt of unemployment benefit?

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

68.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, married or single, and their dependants, resident in the Middles- brough Union, were in receipt of Poor Law relief, indoor or outdoor, during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men who were not in receipt of unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr George Barker Mr George Barker , Abertillery

69.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, married or single, and their dependants, resident in the Bedwellty Union were in receipt of Poor Law relief during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men not in receipt of unemployment pay?

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

70.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, married and single, and their dependants, resident in West Ham Union were in receipt of Poor Law relief during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men who were not in receipt of unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr John Scurr Mr John Scurr , Stepney Mile End

71.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, married and single, and their dependants, resident in the Stepney Union were in receipt of indoor or outdoor relief during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men who were not in receipt of unemployment benefit?

Photo of Sir William Jenkins Sir William Jenkins , Neath

72.

asked the Minister of Health the number of ex-service men, married and single, and their dependants, resident in the Neath Union who were in receipt of Poor Law relief during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men who were not receiving unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Camberwell Peckham

73.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, single and married, and their dependants, resident in the Camberwell Union were in receipt of Poor Law relief, indoor and outdoor, during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men who were not in receipt of unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr John Beckett Mr John Beckett , Gateshead

74.

asked the Minister of Health the number of ex-service men and their dependants, married or single, resident in the Gateshead Union who were in receipt of Poor Law relief during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men who were not receiving unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr Shapurji Saklatvala Mr Shapurji Saklatvala , Battersea North

75.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, single and married, and their de- pendants, resident in the Wandsworth Union were in receipt of Poor Law relief, indoor and outdoor, during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men who were in receipt of allowances from the Ministry of Pensions or unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr Francis Broad Mr Francis Broad , Edmonton

77.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, single or married, and their dependants, resident in the Edmontonu Union were in receipt of Poor Law relief during the week ending 27th February; the number of such men who were not in receipt of unemployment benefit; and the number, if any, in receipt of allowances from the Ministry of Pensions?

Photo of Mr John Bromley Mr John Bromley , Barrow-in-Furness

78.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, married or single, and their dependants, resident in the Poor Law union covering the borough of Barrow-in-Furness were in receipt of Poor Law relief during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men not in receipt of allowances from the Ministry of Pensions or unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr Robert Richardson Mr Robert Richardson , Houghton-le-Spring

80.

asked the Minister of Health the number of ex-service men, married or single, and their dependants, who were in receipt of relief in the Houghton-le-Spring, South Shields. and Sunderland Unions, respectively, in the week ending 27th February, 1926; and the number of such men who were not in receipt of unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

86.

asked the Minister of Health how many ex-service men, married or single, resident in the Nottingham Union, were in receipt of Poor Law relief during the week ending 27th February; and the number of such men not in receipt of unemloyment benefit?

Photo of Mr Joseph Gibbins Mr Joseph Gibbins , Liverpool West Toxteth

87.

asked the Minister of Health the number of ex-service men who were in receipt of Poor Law relief for the week ending the 20th February, 1926, in the West Derby Union?

Mr. T. THOMSON:

93.

asked the Minister of Health the number of ex-service men in the Middlesbrough Union who are in receipt of Poor Law relief: and the number who are drawing this relief because they have been refused unemployment benefit?

Photo of Mr Samuel Clowes Mr Samuel Clowes , Stoke-on-Trent Hanley

105.

asked the Minister of Health the number of ex-service men in the Stoke-on-Trent and Wolstanton Guardians' area now in receipt of Poor Law relief; and the number of such men not in receipt of unemployment benefit?

Photo of Captain Robert Gee Captain Robert Gee , Bosworth

Before the Minister of Health answers these questions, may I ask him if it is not a fact that the whole of the information asked for in these 14 or 15 questions could have been obtained from the boards of guardians locally, and thus saved the time of this House and prevent a waste of public money?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

There is a considerable number of questions asking for statistics of ex-service men in receipt of Poor Law relief in various unions, and I propose, with permission, to answer all these questions together. The information asked for is not available in my Department. Boards of guardians are not required to classify the recipients of relief according to whether they are or are not ex-service men, and no statistics of this kind are furnished to me. As already stated, I am not prepared to ask boards of guardians to make special investigations which would entail an expense out of proportion to the value of the information obtained.

Photo of Mr George Lansbury Mr George Lansbury , Poplar Bow and Bromley

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that most boards of guardians conduct their inquiries on the case paper system, and therefore it is simply a matter of putting a clerk to take out information from those papers and give the returns? Has the right hon. Gentlemn asked for this to be done? May I also ask if it is not a fact that whenever a Member of this House requires information concerning a local authority the right hon. Gentleman can get it by asking the local authority for it? Have any of these boards of guardians complained that they are not able or willing to give the information?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I am not aware that any boards of guardians have complained that they are not able or willing to give me the information. I am afraid I have now forgotten what the first question of the hon. Member was.

Photo of Mr George Lansbury Mr George Lansbury , Poplar Bow and Bromley

I may say, Mr. Speaker, that I intend to persist with this question. The question which I asked the right hon. Gentleman is one which is well known in his Department. I asked: Is it not a fact that most boards of guardians conduct their inquiries on the case paper system, and is it not also a fact that those who do not are obliged, under the orders of the Ministry, to keep a record of the previous history of every applicant who comes before them?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

As I have already said, boards of guardians are not required to pick out or classify men who are ex-service men from other categories of men. Therefore, so far as I am aware, boards of guardians have not got that information. Of course I do not say they could not get it.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I do not know that, but if the hon. Member knows that they have got it, perhaps he knows what it is.

Photo of Mr George Lansbury Mr George Lansbury , Poplar Bow and Bromley

This is a very important matter. The point is that the Minister of Health stands at that Box, and says he does not know that the Poor Law authorities have this information when he knows that His Department has got it.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The hon. Member for Bow and Bromley is not entitled to make a statement at Question Time. If he is dissatisfied with the answer, he has a proper remedy by asking for the Vote for the Minister's salary to be put down, when he can move a reduction. Then the House- will have an opportunity of saying whether or not it agrees with the Minister. That is the proper procedure.

Photo of Mr Arthur Dixey Mr Arthur Dixey , Penrith and Cockermouth

I should like your ruling, Mr. Speaker, with regard to certain questions' put down earlier, numbering about seven. "We were entitled to ask on this side of the House only two supplementary questions. On a point of Order I should like to put it to you, that there should be an equal distribution of supplementary questions on both sides.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

When the hon. Member is in my place he will be able to conduct the proceedings.

Photo of Mr George Lansbury Mr George Lansbury , Poplar Bow and Bromley

On a point of Order. I wish to ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether any of us who put down these questions are entitled to put down a Motion asking for a Return of these cases to be placed on the Table of the House?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

Certainly. The hon. Member can prepare a Motion for the Return, and put it down on the paper. If he fail to get the Return, then he has the further remedy of asking the House to pronounce its opinion in regard to the action of the Minister in Supply, on the Vote for the Minister's salary.

Photo of Mr John Hayes Mr John Hayes , Liverpool Edge Hill

95.

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that ex-Private Alfred Tunstall, No. 140,332, 9th Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment, now of No. 112, Holt Road, Edge Hill, Liverpool, who is unemployed and not in receipt of unemployment pay, applied to the West Derby Board of Guardians, Liverpool, for relief and was given an admission order to the workhouse in lieu of relief, as he was a single man residing with his parent; and, if so, whether he proposes to take any steps to prevent men who fought in the Great War being so treated?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

My attention has not previously been drawn to this case, but I will make inquiries.

Photo of Mr John Hayes Mr John Hayes , Liverpool Edge Hill

May I put the question down again for a reply this day week; and will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that an admission order for the workhouse is a poor fulfilment of the nation's War promises?