Mr. Villiers has proposed to all Boards of Guardians in
London that the police shall be appointed assistant-relieving officers. Any casual who wants relief must apply to a policeman, who will be able to tell whether he is really destitute, or is one of the criminal class. The police, moreover, will supervise the discipline of the casual wards. This system has been tried at Poplar, and has re- duced the number of applicants under 25 from 515 to 148. The measure seems a sound one, and it is quite clear that something decisive must be done in this matter of casual wards. The Lam- bethahed visited by an amateur has been closed, and the casuals assigned to certain lodging-houses. In one of these a reporter of the Daily News found some twenty men and boys all asleep on hay mattresses, all perfectly naked, and crowding together for warmth till they were packed on the floor like eels. The guardians of St. Pancras have just ordered that the female casuals have night-dresses, they having hitherto always slept naked.