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CHARITABLE AID BOARD.

The monthly meeting of the above, held this afternoon, was attended by Messrs J, Robin (chairman), W. Snow, J. Monson, P. Miller, J. Green, G. Clark. CORRESPONDENCE, A short discussion took place regarding the advisability of forwarding to the Government a circular containing tfaa resolution passed by tho Board re the clause relating to the management of the Industrial School contained in the proposed Charitable Aid Bill, some members stating that, as the Bill had been remodelled, there was no necessity to do so.—lt was ultimately decided to forward the circular to tho Government. CHARITABLE AID CONTRIBUTIONS. It was decided to instruct the secrotary to write to the Government expressing the disapprobation of the Board at the length of time which had elapsed before the valuations upon which the Board based the charitable aid levy had been forwarded. It was also decided to accept tho figures of the Property Tax Assessor, giving the respective contributions to be levied on local bodies, in preference to the figures supplied by the latter. REQUISITIONS. The following requisitions were received : Benevolent Institution, L 731 0s Gd; Female Refuge, LC; Industrial School, 1.827. The requisitions were granted, with the exception of the latter, to which L3OO was voted. THE ESTABLISHMENT OP BEFOCES.

The Chairman said : The question of providing charitable aid to those in a, community who by misfortune or otherwise are unable to provide for themselves, or those who would rather beg than work, is such a difficult task that anyone making an honest effort to reduce the pauperism growing up in our midat deserves the consideration of the country. Theso being my feelings, I regret I cannot think that the Charitable Aid Bill introduced by the Hon. the Colonial Secretary is any improvement on the present system. It is true it will relieve the Consolidated Revenuo, but it will by so doing throw extra burdens on the ratepayers ; and in my mind there can be no doubt but that the revenue of the country should bear a considerable part of this burden. It was said by the Premier that peopla did not like it because they did not understand it. Well, thnt may be so, but one would have thought the Wellington Board would not havo been allowed to remain in ignorance of its good points. It would have been an easy matter for tjiose who approve of the measure and drafted it to have explained its provisions to these gentlemen, but as that Board has pronounced against it we must conclude that either they do not understand it, or, understanding it, still disbelieve in its provisions. No, gentlemen, the problem of poverty will not be solved by building a large workhouse or workhouses and providing for the poor there. Thoco who advocate this plan aro on the wrong lino, and very little improvement or amendment of our present system is to bo looked for from those people. I have read nearly all the schemes that virions countries have adopted for administering public charity, and believe that Holland has the best sy3tem—in fact they are head and shoulders above all other countries. If anyone reads tho leading article in tho 'Daily Times' of Tuesday last, I feel sure it must carry conviction to all thinking and unprejudiced minds that no better plan could be devised. Tho 'Times' says:—"Both in the management of incorrigible pauperß and in charitablo endeavors to help the deserving poor tho Dutch eec-rn to be in a position to read a lesson to the rest of the world." I would oommend the article and system to the attention of all who take an interest in the subject. I believe the Government will do well to withdraw their Bill for this session, and endeavor to bring forward a measure built on Dutch lines. The proposed Act provides for each local body providing for its own poor. In Dunedin alone there is now distributed, for outdoor relief alone, say L 3.000 per annum, and it seems to me that under any circumstances we cannot altogether lurn a deaf ear to all appeala made for charitable aid of this description, and therefore the citizens must make provision for it without any aid from Government whatsoever. This will press very hard on centres of population, as it is a well know fact that the poor—aye, and the sick poor, too —gravitate towards the large centres of population. Under this Bill those who are chaiitably inclined will have worse than the rata collector at their door, and tho3o who do not care to contribute, although able, will go scot free, unless, indeed, local bodies rate their districts so that they can givo the relief needed. Another objectionable feature is that wo will have no voice in the management of the Industrial School. However, I need not detain you longer. You are as well able to judge of its suitability to the country aa I am.

Mr Greek also spoke at Jogth upon various provisions of the Bill mentioned by Mr Robin, referring to the disadvantages arising from the system of administration proposed in tho measure. He thought the City Council—.who would, according to tho Act, be the administrative body—would be overshadowed by some Government efflaial. Tho question of charitable aid, so far aa the Benevolent Trustees—of which body he was a member—were concerned, was dealt with efficiently, he believed, by the administrative body. That body, he considered, should deal with destitute persons, while the Resident Magistrate should deal with the criminal classes (Hear.) He sincerely hoped that the Bill would not become law this session, and he did not think it would, although the unexpected ofttimes happened. Mr Clakk, as a country member, said there were a number of objections whicli eould be raised to the measure ; but one favorable point, in his opinion, was that outdoor relief would be thrown on local bodies. If that were done, great improvements would ensue in the direction indicated, but mainly in reducing outdoor relief. Against that it was contended that poverty always tended to towns. Such was the case ; but he pointed out that towns and boroughs were better able to meet the demands than were the counties. Somo of the smaller boroughs were at present receiving more as subsidy than tho counties. With regard to the other matters, he favored the views of the chairman.

Mr W. S-s'ow found that members of county councila were very liberal in dealing with outdoor relief, and gave more than they had any light to do. At present, outdoor relief caßes wore submitted to councils for report, and if too much were given to these cases tho fault rested with the council.

Mr Miller failed to see any improvement in the proposed Bill; but being placed in a similar position to Mr Clark, his remarks would probably tend in the same direction. The Bruce County, he thought, paid more than it received as subsidy. With regard to tho poor people drifting towards some localities, he did not see why the aristocratic portion of the community should not contribute to the maintenance of the poorer classes. The people who administered charitable aid should be, Le thought, directly responsible to those who provided the money. The dWcußsion then terminated.

HOSPITAL BOARD. The meeting of tho above was subsequently held, and attended by the same members, except Mr Miller. The only business transacted was the passing of the requisition from the hospital, which amounted to L43G la.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890718.2.23

Bibliographic details

CHARITABLE AID BOARD., Evening Star, Issue 7962, 18 July 1889

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1,247

CHARITABLE AID BOARD. Evening Star, Issue 7962, 18 July 1889

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