§ MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he has received an application from the urban district council of Maesteg for sanction to create a distress committee; whether the reasons assigned were that 9 per cent. of the colliers in the district were idle owing to bad trade, and that the council were prepared to put work at roadmaking in hand at once provided they could obtain a share of the Government grant to permit of unemployed labour being used; and whether the application was refused; if so, for what reason.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. BURNS,) Battersea
The facts are as suggested in the Question. It appeared that the bulk of the colliers out of employment had only ceased work a fortnight before, the Poor Law statistics showed no increase in able-bodied pauperism, and the district council had schemes of road-making which they could execute. In the circumstances it did not seem to me that sufficient ground had been shown at that time for establishing a distress committee, and I so informed the district council.