§ MR. WEIR
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board 642 whether his attention has been directed to a petition signed by 125 residents and ratepayers of Great George Square, Liverpool, complaining that out of thirty-four houses in the square no fewer than eleven are used as common emigrant lodging houses; is he aware that these houses are frequented by Italians, Russian Finns, Polish Jews, Gallicians, and Scandinavians, and are frequently so overcrowded as to constitute a source of danger to public health; and that one house was found on the 25th March last to contain eighty six persons in excess of the licensed number, and another sixty-one in excess; and, if so, will he consider the expediency of having these facts brought under the notice of the Commission on Alien Immigration and the Corporation of Liverpool, by whom these houses are let on lease.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. WALTER LONG,) Bristol, S.
The hon. Member has given me an opportunity of seeing this petition and I have communicated with the Corporation on the subject. I am informed that there is no foundation for the suggestion that certain houses are frequently so overcrowded as to constitute a source of danger to the public health, but, as I stated in reply to a Question by the hon. Member on the 14th ultimo†, proceedings were taken by the Corporation in respect of the overcrowding of two houses on the 25th March last. I see no advantage in bringing this matter before the Royal Commission on Alien Immigration. I understand that evidence has already been given before them by the Liverpool Medical Officer of Health. I am informed that in all cases where complaints are made by residents in the square, of emigrants' lodging houses being a nuisance, the Corporation make inquiry, and use every endeavour to ensure that the premises are used in accordance with the conditions of the lease or of any licence which may have been granted by the Corporation to any lessee, allowing the premises to be used otherwise than as a private dwelling house.† See (4) Debates, cxxii, 689.