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English Poor Law Policy, by Beatrice Webb, Sidney Webb

Brackett, Jeffrey R. (1911) English Poor Law Policy, by Beatrice Webb, Sidney Webb. The American Economic Review, 1 (2). pp. 398-399.

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Abstract

This book is another testimonial to the remarkable industry of Mr. and Mrs. Webb. The first five chapters, over two thirds of it, are practically the report made in 1907 to the Royal Commission on the Poor Law, of which Mrs. Webb was a member. The purpose is to gather together the leading data from a mass of poor law orders, circulars and reports, to show how the poor law of 1854, with its amending acts of note, has really been administered. The poor law left much to the discretion of the central authorities, the Poor Law Commissioners and their successors, the Poor Law Board and the Local Government Board. Only a small part of the history is to be found in legislation. That administration has varied much is brought out in this book. A very interesting example, touching the type of need which was especially before the commission of 1884, that of the able-bodied laborer, is the difference between the orders, applied notably in different parts of England, which on the one hand prohibited out-door relief generally, and which, on the other hand, allowed it with a labor test. Also, in orders of the central poor authorities, are noted some departures from the intent of 1854. Because of such variations and changes of policy within the field of poor law, beside tendencies to meet distress outside that law, the Webbs say that any poor law, or law of destitution, is hopeless. – Introductory paragraph of review.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The full text of the review is available at the jstor.org link.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
K Law > KD England and Wales
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2018 12:43
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2018 12:43
URI: http://webbs.library.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1006

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