[The Daily News, 29. Januar bis 24. April 1869]

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The Daily News. Nr. 7097, 29. Januar 1869. S. 5.
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LAMBETH INTERIORS.

Jan 29 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

At the usual fortnightly meeting of the Lambeth vestry, yesterday evening, a report was read from the General Purposes Committee respecting the existence of pigsties, dustbins, and other nuisances in certain parts of the parish. The committee had visited several of the poorer streets and courts in the parish, and had found them to be on the whole not in a very uncleanly condition. Such repairs and improvements as were in the power of the vestry to order had been effected, and the medical officer had reported that in a very poor district containing 2,000 inhabitants there had not been for three months a single case of small-pox, only eight of scarlet fever, two of measles, and one or two of typhoid fever. The committee had found overcrowding to prevail, and a great reluctance on the part of the owners of property to build cesspools, pave courts, and execute other necessary repairs. The report concluded by recommending that the 100th section of the Metropolis Management Amendment Act be put into operation to compel owners of property to drain and pave the courts and passages, and, in default, that the vestry proceed to execute the works, and to recover the cost.

Mr. MITCHELL, looking at the length and importance of the report, moved that it be printed and circulated preparatory to its full discussion.

This motion gave rise to an animated discussion, in the course of which, and in answer to questions from Mr. GILES,

The MEDICAL OFFICER gave his opinion that contagious disease was more likely to spread in model lodging houses than in the ordinary small four-roomed houses. He had not found the block known as the Prince of Wales’s lodging houses particularly cleanly.

Mr. GILES complained of the animadversions of the public press respecting parochial matters, and proceeded to call attention to an appeal from the Rev. R. Gregory for “the unemployed 10,000 poor of Lambeth.” He reminded the meeting that Mr. Gregory’s church was only a district church, situated opposite the workhouse, in which the vestry was spending 1,350l. a week on the poor. Mr. Giles complained also of another appeal from the Rev. Mr. Edwards on behalf of 7,000 of the unemployed. Mr. Giles considered the statements contained in these appeals to be much exaggerated.

The amendment was then put, and decided in the negative. On the original motion for the adoption of the report,

Mr. HEATON moved another amendment, to the effect that all that was necessary to secure a good sanitary condition of the parish was greater vigilance on the part of the inspectors of nuisances, and a vigorous prosecution of offenders. The serving of notices upon the owners of property he looked upon as being quite useless. He said that a clause to the same effect as his amendment had originally stood in the report of the General Purposes Committee. His object was merely to have the clause replaced.

Mr. R. TAYLOR, jun., objected to the report. The General Purposes Committee had appointed a sub-committee of four to inspect a district, complaints of the sanitary state of which had been made in the newspapers by “A District Visitor” (Miss Nicholls). The letters of the “District Visitor” complained of the remissness of the medical officer, and yet that gentleman was made a member of the sub-committee. He thought that in common fairness the “District Visitor” should also have accompanied the inspectors. He moved that the report be referred back to the committee for reconsideration, and also that properly defined maps should be prepared of those portions of the parish that required special sanitary supervision.

Mr. FOWLER was of opinion that there was much in the condition of the parish that required reform, and that heavy charges of neglect must rest somewhere. Overcrowding was a general complaint in the parish. Over that the parish had no control, but it was their duty to secure for those poor crowded people the best possible sanitary condition of their tenements. Under those circumstances, he felt bound to support Mr. Heaton’s amendment.

Mr. JERVIS observed that a good many of the defects discovered by the inspecting committee had been created by the destructive tendencies of the tenants themselves. He would suggest public cast-iron dustbins. (A laugh.)

Mr. ACKERMAN opposed Mr. Heaton’s amendment on the ground that it reflected on the vigilance of the officers of the vestry.

Mr. STIFF made an explanation respecting a house of his which had been reported on by the General Purposes Committee. The house was situated in “Salamanca” (a district close to the church), and was occupied by a poor woman who had paid him no rent for the last two years. Her husband was in the workhouse hospital, and she had to support her family out of her own earnings. He (Mr. Stiff) had made various attempts to get her out, but without success. He knew the house to be in a most filthy state, but he would not touch it until he got rid of this tenant. He employed her son, and last Saturday night he refused the boy his wages unless he brought him the key. He also had paid two weeks rent for the woman elsewhere, but still she had not stirred. Until she left, he should resist every attempt to make him repair or cleanse the house.

Mr. GODDARD and Mr. HARDY severally testified to the wretched sanitary condition of the parish.

Mr. JAMES TAYLOR contended that they must have more extensive legal powers, and more inspection, if they wished to have the sanitary condition of the parish what it ought to be. The parish of Lambeth contained 4,015 acres. There were 90 miles of roadway, 27,000 houses, and 180,000 inhabitants. He asked were three inspectors sufficient to cover such an extent of ground?

The report, with Mr. Heaton’s amendment, was then put, and carried by a majority of two, the numbers being 24 to 22.

The vestry adjourned to that day fortnight.



28

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The Daily News. Nr. 7111, 15. Februar 1869. S. 4/5.
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[The Daily News, 15. Februar 1869]

Feb 15 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

OUR criticism of the expenditure proposed under Mr. HARDY’S Act will be brought to an end with a review of the new buildings proposed to be erected in the Northern and Eastern Districts. The arrangements for the sick in the Marylebone Workhouse are undoubtedly of superior quality, and the infirmary is honourably distinguished by a staff of paid nurses which has been in existence many years. Nevertheless the number of infirm and bedridden has of late so much increased that extra accommodation has been provided. The block of wards recently erected contains 240 females, and cost about 7,000l. A second block for 100 patients is in course of erection, at an expense of 4,200l. for the building; and if the present system of indoor relief be continued, 150 more beds will soon be required, for which provision has been made. We may put down the probable expenditure at 20,000l. for the 500 beds.

The expenditure in St. Pancras has been so freely canvassed, that we state it without comment:

For the Highgate Infirmary, for 524 patients £46,000
For the schools at Leaverlen 54,000
For alterations, &c., at Plaistow 1,100
Some margin should be allowed on these contracts and estimates, particularly as the drainage, wells, &c., are likely to be very expensive 5,000
£106,100

At the passing of Mr. HARDY’S Act, the Islington guardians were pledged to build a new workhouse, at a probable cost of 40,000l., but additional arrangements being made for a separate infirmary, the expense of building is increased to 63,300l., and by the time it is fitted and furnished the probable cost will be 100,000l. There will be additional accommodation for at least 1,000 persons, and, as the staff will be large and complete, the annual expense will not be less than 18l. per head, or 18,000l. The guardians have lately spent a considerable sum upon their schools.

The guardians of Hackney have fitted up nearly the whole of the existing workhouse as a most comfortable and sufficient asylum and infirmary, and they are about to build new wards for 350 able-bodied males and females. The building is contracted for at the price of 8,500l., and by the time fixtures and furniture, &c., are complete, the probable expenditure will be 11,000l. or 12,000l.

In the East District, the guardians of Shoreditch have been called upon to erect a separate infirmary, and to enlarge their schools. This case is the more remarkable, as when asked to put the cost of those various buildings upon the common poor fund, Mr. HARDY objected on the ground that it would be unfair to make those districts pay which had already provided sufficient accommodation, and he quoted the case of Shoreditch, which had recently expended more than 60,000l. in the erection of a new workhouse, in which the accommodation for the sick was ample and sufficient. Nevertheless the guardians, under pressure of the Poor-law Board, have taken steps to erect a new hospital for 300 patients at a cost of 40,000l., and are contemplating the enlargement of their schools at Brentwood at a cost of 18,000l. The proposal is the more unreasonable as nearly 200 imbeciles will be removed from the workhouse when the new asylums are complete, by which space will easily be provided for nearly an equal number of infirm and sick. The extra annual expenditure, if this scheme be carried out, cannot be less than 8,000l.

The guardians of Bethnal-green, on being requested to consider the question of a separate infirmary, have positively declined to do so, on the ground that they would be unable to raise the money from the struggling and impoverished ratepayers; but if compelled to carry out the wishes of the Poor-law Board, as expressed in their letter, they would have to provide a hospital on a new site for at least 300 patients, sickness in Bethnal-green forming the most prominent cause of pauperism. The probable cost of such an institution would be 40,000l. and its charge not less than 6,000l. per annum.

The guardians of Whitechapel have purchased the site for a new workhouse for able-bodied inmates at a cost of 5,000l., and they estimate the cost of buildings at an equal sum. Such an estimate seems extremely low, and we believe that 20,000l. is more likely to be the ultimate amount.

In St. George’s-in-the-East the guardians have purchased a piece of land at a cost of 7,000l., and they contemplate the erection of a now infirmary. They are also making great improvements in their present building. They will probably require to provide for 300 patients and it is observed that any number of occupants can be found as the labourer is remitted to the workhouse for the rest of life very early. Upon the slightest failure of health his place in the labour market is at once occupied by a strong and abler immigrant from the country. Not long ago a pauper died at the advanced age of 106, who had been 70 years a pauper, 30 of which had been passed in the workhouse. We may estimate the probable expenditure at 50,000l. Mile-end will not require to spend a very large sum in altering the workhouse so as to provide more suitably than at present for the sick and infirm. Probably 2,000l. will suffice.

The Stepney and Poplar Asylum will accommodate 600 patients, and is estimated to cost 68,000l. At 20l. per head the annual outlay will be 12,000l. per annum. The Forest-gate School District has been formed to take the children of Hackney, Poplar, and Whitechapel. The present buildings will be greatly enlarged, at a probable cost of 10,000l. at a very low estimate. The guardians of Poplar have also agreed to build a new workhouse for the able-bodied class, which is estimated to cost 40,000l., and as it will contain 1,000 inmates, will cost for officers and maintenance not less than 10,000l. a year.

To conclude this list, we have yet to mention that the South Metropolitan Schools are to be enlarged. The contracts for the work vary from 9,000l. to 28,000l., and may probably be taken at 20,000l. The managers of the Central London Schools are about to erect new reception wards at the possible cost of 2,000l. Summing up the items mentioned above, we have the following result:

Marylebone, 500 beds £20,000
St. Pancras, 524 beds, and 600 children 106,100
Islington, 1000 100,000
Hackney, 350 12,000
Shoreditch, 300 40,000
Shoreditch Schools 18,000
Required for Bethnal-green, 300 beds 40,000
Now Workhouse, Whitechapel, and site, 300 beds 20,000
Infirmary, St. George’s-in-the-East, 300 beds 50,000
Alterations, Mile-end 2,000
Stepney and Poplar Asylum, 600 beds 68,000
Forest-gate Schools 10,000
Poplar Workhouse, 1,000 beds 40,000
South Metropolitan Schools 20,000
Central London 2,000
558,100
Previously noticed 1,333,600
£1,891,700
The annual expenditure will be:  
2,900 hospital beds at 20l. £58,000
2,000 able-bodied at 4s. per week, say 20,000
Interest on borrowed money at 5 per cent. 28,000
Repayment, first year 18,600
1,000 children at 5l. a year extra 5,000
Total £129,600
Brought forward 301,900
Total £431,500

In making the foregoing estimate we wish to guard ourselves from the imputation of exaggeration. We are aware that many of the items are conjectural, and that those which have to a certain extent been settled may be considerably reduced in the hands of the Poor-law Board, since we are assured that Mr. GOSCHEN is most desirous of carrying out the economical views of the present Government. We are convinced, however, that our estimate, particularly as to the annual expenditure, is much below the actual probability, and even if the contrary, enough has been stated to justify a reconsideration of the whole question. The total accommodation noticed is as follows:

Imbeciles 3,000
Fever and small-pox 648
Sick asylums 6,700
Ordinary paupers 2,500
School 3,600
  16,448

which is increasing the indoor accommodation as near as possible 50 per cent and that for the most costly classes. The real question to be determined is whether it is better to provide an indefinite and ever-increasing amount of in-door accommodation for the aged, infirm, and chronic sick, or to relieve them at home, where the ties of kindred may be preserved, independence fostered, and industry to the full capacity of each may be pursued. This question was determined by the |29 Poor-law Commissioners 30 years ago in favour of the latter plan, leaving the workhouse to the able-bodied classes; and it is important that Parliament should consider twice before the recommendations of that eminent Commission shall be so completely set aside as they are by the costly institutions provided under Mr. HARDY’S Poor Act.



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The Daily News. Nr. 7170, 24. April 1869. S. 4.
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[The Daily News, 24. April 1869]

April 24 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

THERE is something almost sensational in Mr. BRUCE’S announcement that our pauperism has increased 45 per cent in the last three years. If every hundred thousand paupers in 1866 have become a hundred and forty-five thousand in 1869, we must either check the rate of pauper increase or succumb to the pauper’s fate. Given the number of paupers and the total number and rate of increase of the population, and it would be easy to name the date at which, should the same rate of pauper increase be continued, we must necessarily all have become paupers. We may fairly remember that the period during which this increase has taken place is just the period of the greatest and longest commercial depression which this generation has experienced. Three years ago the great collapse of credit took place, and that collapse followed on a period of inflation. In 1865 all went merry as a marriage bell; trade was brisk, credit good, prospects cheering, and pauperism was probably at its minimum, the forty-five per cent increase is, therefore, the full effect of a disastrous time; it is an increase of fifteen per cent per annum through three years of depression. But everybody agrees that we have weathered the worst of the crisis, and that through the winter of our discontent is not yet made glorious summer, still we are emerging from it into, at least, the fitful weather of reviving spring. The pauper increase has probably reached its term, and we may hope, not only for a diminishing rate of increase, but even for absolute decrease. This is one reassuring consideration. The other is, that the whole administration of the Poor Law is marked out for reconstruction. The increase of pauperism is not wholly due to diminished employment. Mr. BRUCE believes, with Lord OVERSTONE and some other noble lords, that the bad administration of the Poor Law is really at the bottom of the evil. We spread pauperism by ill-directed efforts to check it. Our workhouse are schools of idleness, and our out-door relief, by its utter want of real discrimination, increases the evil it seeks to remedy. The very growth of pauperism proves that our old system of dealing with it has broken down, but the fact which proves the old system to be effete prepares the way for a new one. Pauperism is no longer an evil to be palliated, it has become one to be played with—but a disease to be cured; and there is, at any rate, some reason to hope that an increase of forty-five per cent in the last three years may lead to such legislative and social efforts as will ensure a corresponding diminution in the next three years.

Inhalt:

  • Social cases. 1869