REPORT OF THE SELECT llOM SIITTEE ON THE POOR-LAW
AMENDNI ENT ACT.
The Report of the Poor-law Committee has been published. It commences with a statement of the course which the Committee adopted in the conduct of the inquiry; whence it appears, that Mr. Walter and the opponents of the law have no reason to complain of any disinclination to give attention to their complaints. The Report says-
" Before they entered on the examination of any witnesses, your Committee were anxious, in the first place, to determine what should be the general course of their inquiry. It was suggested that it might be better at once to call before them some of the Assistant Poorlaw Commissioners, with a view to explain the circumstances and condition of whole counties or districts under their charge. In this way, the subject would have been opened to your Connnittee by persons of great intelligence and experience, and who were necessarily con- versant with the administration of the law.
" On the other hand, some statements having been made in Parliament of particular instances of severity and abuse, either in the law or in its admini•tra- non, year Committee thought that they should best discharge their duty by proceeding at once to take these complaints into consideration. They were the more induced to do so horn a perstmion, that though their attention might in the first instance be confined to some particular fact, yet that in the course of such au inquiry, the whole state of things within the Union, and the general -operation of the law, would be brought under their notice."
The Committee, at the suggestion of Mr. Walter, proceeded to in- .quire into the management of the Petworth Union. They examined members of the Board of Guardians, the Rector of Petworth, and several labourers; and give the following as the result- " The evidence of the parties examined as to the Petworth Union, would lead 'the Committee to believe that the introduction of the new law has been attended with considerable improvement in the character and condition of the poor. The aged amd infirm are relieved, whenever they prefer it, at their own homes, or at the houses of relations and friends with whom they live; and, by the general
testimony of witnesses, their condition has been improved by an increase of
PaY• he employment of agricultural labour appears to be greater ; the morals
and conduct of Ile labouring poor are said to be itoproved ; they have become snore provident aged mote anxious to obtain mid keep their places. The the other. /mad, the labourers:, with large families telykr cu ave fit for work, are rromrttn, I'm runnier of their -r I . • , it t of tke rest of their cottoj, rro!,,,, IN:. • 7, et 74 . , .; • , „,t more than is proportioo to Nye ilti:IV3.4C,1 pried of E!■.1 4.1i mutt of cottages appeat also to Teen ranee hr N0111. 11.'1 any great ex!ent. 0,,,' lit to, a p too 's.I ,',1t
hou,.•,—i:t whirl no ordinary rut
111,!'t the-0 ilininnties, the la:meters of -b.. , o i; •nerally inclined ta ryas into the warkloci... a eert t.•1 t.., o'• t parent!.
i!ried IN fore the clutih,E.i of the I i'v. i!1:4 1 I .• • -4,thecs with p..rinissiott of the ir.I , In 14w:ford !lotion the results were
4• aVae o have i.e.'', and the e•to 1. •• 1, t. e • • by
Cie atlotass • n 4 a iv,•,•-• :,tun ••••• •-. •t,- •..1.
;11 111 5:1 • •.:1 .'ss • • 11,1
airinai to he ,!, 5.:.' ! y : •r
ree,alition .f tt.,t re':et' i•t it. ia-t tit.••• ‘1e in tat: !use ; tool is tlurse (news hi whIeil t'ie:' 1:.:1 I., ny: ,.rto the cirrnurvt:en•r of their 3.
h„,.;„ . •. . , .1.•.% • ,'. I conve•
ales ti' ludgc. .n 60711 1.11e1i. nayn Via.r.,"„ 1 • 1 • 5•••'...- ehauge of !be LIM. Waited 111Vi• 110.11 l'•••.1,11 I.1 Ike O 11 -II '•• ateraily receive their p,>• th■. plates ,y:' r; th • , :1. • : • • •, oinc'n the whole, to ho re 1.) • .1 tar, el/N,
''here was a visa of ('ruelte iat•dri; .! .•: I - 0: to his - - it. y. To
timnud t'l the e.tse of tar. • ••hil.lre t s • ‘• With resp.,et to t', • ' • .• t• : . a:tea- r • i•te Pare-
haul Wotliltotote until th tt it l),ats'nr.1 pt'' I h • .i • , tt ti the
evidence• chil•lr,nt le treat,. I .vain gt-a• s. • e•.r 1•10.1
itmtrop,•11y IT.,•i,:•••1 war l.1 p , ; ! •le ttr.I fIo (; ndians • ia Colo mssio..• r .1:1 Mum ••': It • v.
the Itiont.,, the selvololistie-,, .o, t' • 1 , have been. ff St d. •••••: to lit um.. T It ..• •• -1 be the 1, 1;,,,,t1 ot .1.01 ino •:-. • ;•-. •
1111tlet. t1 ail i!,e t am le- 1.) 1.:t.iii. ,, 1..11dOtillteilly. it \void.' 'MVO lieea s.' '!, li..■
these person-. The prohibition of um...ioor ry! e; oce !wet dis- tress in sore e.tses.
• The.: ale OW' •t Iti011ellf • k u.'," • ' I • ii ms, e.iney h is il:Vrt• 1,01, :1:1•1 1;1.11 I:1 •' t • •'• •
of Ca. •ve: it, 551111 111■1••11 !
11.1.1;: 11.1: 1ir;.-od in 11111 •••11 1,, I • • • • I with ■ 011111,,,. 1.111! Ir. o 'I, • v, • . • ,e1 , S., mendi-
111... 1' IV 11.1', 1•1' Vt. 11 t•. • •• ,-,•! I. .•• •Ien ity in the Wu,r Mum, \Vostitampa.•tt. TM- ,t-ti n•• • • '5, ,,, oilier to t Ch a tet,T of the •e:-out r • • t-•••.:t:•`..•:,.. sup. /twod to have 11.eti u!..!•.r leafed by the to 1, I-Jti,:iti•t;),:et•.-t.I...,.,.,•1,!.!!;;;:ithi.,ef the house. The e munittec are de,iroils 4 ret •rt.t•tg- 'medical ollieer, and to that of a physieim. who ty is ts.•;•1 fur a pouf of the vare and iihotidiotn. with width toe p mho, in to- were provided, not merely with medical :atonal me,. 1. :r w17;1.1.1,.1y :it t and advamage of diet wilielt could have heel. ett inan.:•• I •... A.:althy neighbours."
Under a local act, the Guardians of the l' a I 'is: ire fol- lowed the course prescribed by the Poor I l'1,' [II In cases of bastardy their rules are the sae:, ; •.• ,1 oi lit t work-
house is the Rome, or nearly ma; they have, ...tic.. I ,tat p.t• in end to out-door relict' to the able bodied. .111 this It ,laws of acoord,
without the interfezenee of spy other autho.i•., : they ice Ivo t',.• general expenses of the establishment for the pour tistin in I sell, to Ie ; and within the Caine period the oat-dune relief has faloo, oat ;J,4271. to 3641. The persons who forme' ly oat door react ale sod to be more decent in their appearanve, and seem to be In•trer on; float improved habits of life, than they were before."
Upon the whole, the Report is favourable as respects the administra- tion of the law-
" The Committee are distinctly of opinion that the operation of the oew Pool- law is satisfactory, and that it ought to he in tied tin.A. They eaiertain no
doubt of the general wisdom and efficiency of its pi °visions. they tit di., also, that the general administration of the hnv has been in the in tin jo Boards of Guardians appear to he count attent:ve the.r duties, and to he gene.
rally very sensible of the great improveareut re-tilting from ,•h It is obvious that hoards so con-I:rated must bring to the consideration CANCS con- nected with the circumstances and character of the poor a dogr s of ititelligence
and experience utterly tut known 1pfare, es.•ept perhaps in a te .v inst.mees. distribution of relief, and the superinteridence tt: rho pad lu teiit•vings.
officers, are among the most hop( wood p ei fa.: system. 'I Ire propriety
of their frequently vi.iting their re.p,:ctive ptri•do., ha: iolverted
to; no pains should be spared to render theiv ,i,•enry a- efficient and per- fect as possible. An opioion has been vain cool ti, at the p tar arty not be always sufficiently aware of the rases the ..:e..Alce of the lelieving-ollicer, they may apply to the Cow eltivartlea, (1.,-1,tecr, or
to the Magisttate; some of the psi-l tle•ot-kes I•o,-Iltly be not much mote familiar witlt the provi.iat, of the law. gnat change it is natural that for a time some sliou!•i prevail ;
but as inconvenience and unnecessary sulf:iing !only In the coo ..1 ve of aoy ignorance on this point, the Committee ate t is It ntbam Si it should be conveyed to every p rush. Tin! ant% oily t•I tit,. l'o.•1 !ix Conn•
missioners has, opinion of the C.Ittitti"...e, tad f :r the:: had an opportunity of oleterviug it, been exercise,' with 1" more