§ MR. SOTHERON ESTCOURT moved for the appointment of a Select Committee on the operation of Act 9 & 10 Vict. c. 66, which enacts that no poor person shall be removable who shall have resided five years in any parish, and of the Acts 10 & 11 Vict. c. 110, and 11 & 12 Vict. c. 110, which enacts that the relief given to such irremovable persons shall be charged upon the common fund of the union. The reason he thought it desirable that such a Committee should be appointed was, that during the few months he had presided over the Poor Law Board he had received several deputations from unions and parishes complaining of the operation of the Act referred to as being more unfair and unequal than could ever have been contemplated by the Legislature. Whether that was so or not, he could not say; but it was certainly desirable that the case should be fully investigated. The measure was passed at first as a temporary measure; but year after year had passed on, and, though partial inquiries had taken place, nothing permanent had been effected. The Committee had recommended that the immovability should commence after three years; there seemed to be no principle either in the five years or three; and all he wished by this Committee was an impartial inquiry into the working of the Act. Though the Session was now pretty far advanced, he thought there was still time for the inquiry, an inquiry which he was sure must be gone into before the House could go into the question of poor law settlement.
§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
asked whether the Bill for the Amendment of the Poor Law which the right hon. Gentleman had promised would be postponed till this Committee made its Report.
said, it was most desirable that the proposed Committee should be appointed. The Act expired next Session, and before renewing it Parliament ought to consider the principles upon which it was framed, as well as the effect of its operation.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he was 1915 glad this subject was about to be inquired into, and he hoped the Gentlemen composing the Committee would remember that the Bill whose working they were to inquire into was orignally passed in the interest of the poor.
§ MR. SOTHERON ESTCOURT
said, he did not intend to postpone his Bill while this inquiry was pending, but at the same time he did not mean to press it forward. He was aware that measure had excited a good deal of interest and some alarm, and in order to give time for persons to make themselves acquainted with the subject, and to see that their fears were groundless, he had postponed the second reading for a fortnight.
§ Motion agreed to.
Select Committee appointed,—
On the operation of the Act 9 & 10 Vict., c. 66, which enacts, that no poor person shall be removable who shall have resided five years in any parish, and of the Acts 10 & 11 Vict., c. 110, and 11 & 12 Vict., c. 110, which enacts, that the relief given to such irremovable persons shall be charged upon the common fund of the Union.
§ House adjourned at One o'clock.