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Position in 1871 in United Kingdom

The Position in 1871 and the Poor Law Board

In this issue about the position in 1871, the book “English Poor Law Policy” [1] reads as follows: In 1867 the Poor Law Board, which had been continued from time to time by temporary statutes, was made permanent, and in 1871 it was merged in a new and permanent department, the Local Government Board, established to take over not only the Poor Law business, but also the Local Government Act Department of the Home Office and the growing public health service, which had, since the abolition of the General Board of Health, been under the Privy Council. This amalgamation, which was not brought about by anything to do with the Poor Law side, does not mark any significant epoch in Poor Law policy. It is therefore unnecessary to attempt any summary of the whole policy of the Poor Law Board as such. It need only be noted at this point that the new establishment of the Central Authority on a permanent basis, no longer dependent on temporary statutes, but definitely one of the departments of the national executive, with its President more frequently than not a member of the Cabinet, greatly strengthened the authority and augmented the confidence with which it dealt with boards of guardians. And this authority was in these years being fortified by the growth of an official staff, on a more permanent basis than the temporarily serving inspectors and assistant inspectors of a professedly temporary board. We are already conscious, at the end of this period, of a growing firmness of touch and an increasing consciousness of there being once more a deliberate policy, which the new department will strive to carry out and enforce.

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Notes and References

  1. Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb, “English Poor Law Policy” (1913), Longmans, Green and Co., London, New York, Bombay and Calcuta.

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  • Article Name: Position in 1871
  • Author: J. G. Collier
  • Description: The Position in 1871 and the Poor Law Board In this issue about the position in 1871, the book English Poor Law Policy [1] [...]

This entry was last updated: April 15, 2017

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