23 JANUARY 1926, Page 15



Sit,---In the Spectator of January 9th an article on Poor Law Reform contains the sentence : " The Minority Report (of the -Royal Commission of 1905) proposed the- abolition of the Guardians, but it was in advance of the times and was not seriously considered-by anybody who was not a Socialist." It may perhaps have been forgotten that a Private Bill " recon- ciling-substantial parts-of the Minority and Majority Reports " was introduced and debated on a Private Member's day in June, 1911, the object being to bring pressure on the Govern- ment, so far at any rate as the London Poor Law system was concerned, with a view to legislation. The Bill down for Second Reading was introduced by a Liberal and backed by Liberal and Labour members, but in addition there was then on the Order Paper a rival Bill introduced by the late Lord Alexander Thynne and backed by Conservatives. So -similar were the two Bills in principle that the Government were tirged to send both Bills to a Committee in order to construct out of their proposals a practical scheme of Poor Law Reform which might be carried by means of the Government's majority. Had this been done the reform would have been effected in more favourable conditions than exist to-day. Waste of public money, owing to overlapping, and years of inequality in the administration of relief, to say nothing of " scandals,"! might have been avoided.—I am, Sir, &c.,