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St. Asaph Board of Guardians.


St. Asaph Board of Guardians. DISCUSSING OLD AGE PENSIONS. Mr. Edwin Morgan presided o.ver the fort- nightly meeting of this Board held om Friday, Mr. J. Frimston occupying the vice-chair. The following members were also present:—Mrs. De Ranee, Mrs. Mary Jones, Miss Owen Jones, Mrs. Howell Gee, Messrs. John, Pierce, Thomas Evans, Robert Davies, John Jones (Abergele), John Lothian, Hugh Edwards, J. Ellis Jones, Wililliam Morris, Owen, Rees, Jiohn Morris, Wim. Jones, Isaac Batho, W. S. Roberts, Robert Jones (Prestatyn.), William Williams, Robert Jones ,(Denbigh), W. Conwy-Bell, S. Perks, and T. W. Jones together with the Clerk (Mr. Charles Grimsley), the Master (Mr. Robert Jones), and the other officials. GUESTS AND CALLERS. According to. the Master's Journal the pauper population of the workhouse that day was 149, a decrease of 16 on the number a year ago, and the vagrants relieved during the past fortnight numbered 178, a decrease of one on the number a year ago. Mrs. De Ranee: That difference may be small, but it is on the right side. (Hear, hear.) Miss Owen Jones said it seemed to her that the present number of inmates was very high. The Master said the number fluctuated very much. Since the last meeting of the Board there had been 26 admissions and 25 discharges. COST OF LUNACY. Amongst the amounts passed for payment was one for 6433 13s. 3d., being the cost of the main- tenance of asylum patients, chargeable to the Union. PIG-BREEDING: GOOD PROFIT. The Master reported that he had disposed of nine pigs for ^38, at a profit to the Board ot ^29 is. 3d. The pigs originally cost 67 10s. gd., and I) 8s. was spemlt on two sacks of flour to supplement the workhouse scraps on which they were fed. These pigs had been, replaced by eleven young ones at a cost of 16s. 3d. each, and he hoped to sell two in January and the remain- der in April. Mr. J. Ellis Jones said that to his mind the report about the pigs was. not as satisfactory as it seemed, and he thought the sooner they re- sorted to dealing out the bread to the inmates just as they wanted it the better it would be for the Union. Anybody knew that the expenditure of Ci 8s. on flour wias not a sufficient explana- tion of the profit that had been made on the pigs sold. There must be a great waste some- where but he would not go so. far as. to say that it was intentional. The Master said that, if Mr. Jones lived at the workhouse he wouild form: an opinion different from that which he had just expressed. The in- timates couldl claim a certain quantity of bread, according to the dietary tables confirmed by the Local Government Board, and while the staff ndeavouTed, as far as possible, to use up all the bread that had to. be cut, they could not justly .serve it twice after the handling and maul- ing that necessarily took place, and especialy ,after passing amongst the sick inmates. The uestiÜln of dispensing with the present regula- tions as to the serving of bread and allowing the inmates to take just what they wanted was con- sidered by a committee a year or two ago, out they came to. the conclusion that it would be better to. keep to the existing arrangement. In some places where Mr. Jones' suggestion had been adopted it had soom been abandoned. He assured the Board that there was no preventable waste going on in the workhouse, and that the pigs had nothing which could be used in any other way. (Hear, hear.) Mr. John Roberts said it was significant that those members of the Board who kept animals had no criticisms to make upon the pig trans- action. Mr. Ellis Jones should keep a pig, and then he would known what he was talking about .(Laughtex.) Mr. J. Ellis Jones I do. keep pigs, and know something about them. Mr. John Roberts Then you ought to know better. (Laughter.) CHINESE HAM FOR THE WORKHOUSE! During a "discussion upon provisions, &c., re- quired for the workhouse during the ensuing fortnight, comment was made upon the high price, of some of the articles. ,One member ventured to suggest that some- thing might be saved by going in for Chinese bams but this was too much for the rest of the Board, and the subject was quickly dropped. We must support home industries whatever the cost," remarked Mr. John Lothian amidst the plaudits of several of his. colleagues. THE DENBIGHSHIRE COUNTY RATE. The Clerk reported the receipt of a letter from the De,nbighshire County Council announcing that the rates for the ensuing half-year would be a penny less than what had been estimated. Mr. William Jones (evidently thinking of the mexft County Council election) Vile must know what that means very well. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) OLD-AGE PENSION HARDSHIPS. The Clerk said he had received an enquiry from the Old-age Pensions Officer for the district with respect to. the eligibility of a certain man for a pension. It appeared that the: man was a drover by occupation but owing to a disable- ment he had to: seek admission to the workhouse. It now depended upon the answer of the Board to the enquiry whether the man would set a pension or not. What they had to find out was -whether the man came to the house simply for medical assistance, or on, account of general des- titution. If the former, he would, be entitled to .a pension. Mr. Bell said that from what he knew of the case it was one in which the Board should de- cide in favour of a pension. Mr. Batho. said the question of qualifying or disqualifying for an old age pension, was a very serious matter, and in the interests of the old people he thought that when any of them were contemplating seeking relief in any form they should be cautioned as to the risk they ran of losing their pensions:. He hoped the officers of the Union would do. all they could for the guid- ance of people near the qualifying age for old- agie pensions. The Relieving Officer for the district to which (the case under consideration belonged, admitted that when giving the man a ticket of admission to the workhouse1 he did not caution him with respect to his pension, but if he had thought that this difficulty was likely to arise he would cer- tainly have seen that the man had a medical cer- tificate before entering the workhouse. Mr. Bell, in supporting the remarks of Mr. Batho-, said he was Chairman of the Oild-age Pensions Committee for his district, and he had had some experience of a good many hard cases of disqualification. It would be a very great hardship indeed if this man was denied^a pen- sion. It was a sad thin? that the Act dealing with Old-age Pensions should be marred by such a. flaw as disqualified cases like this. Mr. Perks took exception to the. remark of Mr. Bell as to there being a flaw in the Act. He did not think that was the case. This was a new measure, and its framers had to proceed some- what cautiously in the first instance, as they could not do much better than guess at the amount of money that would be required to pay .Y the pensions. They could not, therefore, help hardships arising now and again. Modifications were, however, being introduced with the view of enabling the Act to work as smoothly as pos- sible, and in. order to. remove some of the pre- sent disabilities it had been decided to drop the clause which operated against those cases in the near future..(Hear, hear.) Mr. Bell said that as the Act stood there was no doubt that it operated very harshly against a large number of people. To mention only one instance that had come under his personal ob- servation., the granting of 3s. relief for just one week had resulted in a man losing his pension. Mr. Perks That is not due to any flaw in the Act. Mr Bell: I maintain that it is due to a flaw in the Act. It was decided to inform the Old-age Pensions Offioer that the case he had called attention to was one of medical treatment only as far as ei>e Board were concerned, and that the man was therefore entitled to a pension. THE MASTER A BARBARIAN." During the hearing of a case for relief, it was stated that a boy was employed at a barber's shop for 2is.a week. Mr. Thomas Evans reminded the Board that barbers evidently did not pay much for labour. Mr. J. Ellis Jones But the boy is learning his trade. Mr. Hugh Edwards: The Master is a bar- barian. (Laughter.)

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