10 MARCH 1928, Page 3

The appointed Commissioners who have been administering the Poor Law

in West Ham have Announced a reduction in the rates of 6d. in the £. This follows their earlier reductions amounting to 8d. It proves that under the Socialist Board of Guardians the struggling producers and workers were " carrying on their backs " a great number of idlers. The old principle of 1884, the " lesser eligibility " of the position of the man who does not support himself, has been vindicated again as a hard one, but absolutely necessary for mankind at preient. We do not know whether many were attracted from outside by the distribution of other people's money and have left the district for the district's good, but the diminution of out-relief to the able-bodied has worked wonders. And it is not only the economic benefit that is a blessing to West Ham ; the restoration of self-respect to those in whom it was being undermined is a benefit of inestimable value. The lesson comes aptly at the moment of the County Council elections in the neighbour- ing County of London. But we share the regret expressed by the Denison House Committee last week that the Ministry of Health has not published more information on the results of its inquiries.

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