26 APRIL 1890, Page 13


[To THY EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—I should like to say, in answer to the letter of the Chair- man of the Bradfield Union which appeared in your issue of April 19th, that the mistake which he corrected in a review of Mr. Mackay's book on "The English Poor," was due to the author, not to the reviewer. In fact, I was surprised to find that a lax system of outdoor relief produced 999 indoor paupers against 259 outdoor, while a stringent system of out- door relief only reduced the outdoor paupers to 100; but not having access to the authority for the figures at the time, accepted Mr. Mackay's. The correct figures—showing outdoor paupers 999, reduced by strict administration to 42, while at the same time the indoor paupers were reduced from 259 to 100—is a much more eloquent and striking proof of the short- sightedness and wantonness, not to say wickedness, of a lax system of outdoor relief, which creates and intensifies the very evils—heavy rates and cruelty to the poor—which, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, it seeks to avoid.—I am, Sir, &c.,