THE EVILS OF OUTDOOR RELIEF.
A SCATHING DENUNCIATION.
[Fkom Oub Pabliamentaby Refobteb.]
WELLINGTON, October 12. In.his annual report to Parliament on the incalculable evils of our system of outdoor relief, Dr MacGregor says that all over New Zealand the State subsidy for indiscriminate outdoor relief is the most effective scheme that could be devised for the systematic cultivation of social parasites. We carefully hatch them out and lay thorn down in the alimentary tracts of society, and we call the insane proceeding Philanthropy. "No man," continues Dr MacGregor, " feels more deeply than I the fact that tho>e of our people who have lapsed from self-restraint and independence have probably been more sinned against than sinning, especially since the beginning of the age of machinery, with all lis accumulation of products. But saltis populi supremo, lex. That is the sole justification, the only valid excuse, for such legislation as I believe to be inevitable. I have called our system of giving outdoor relief indiscriminate. It is bo all over the country, but it is worse in Wellington than anywhere else." He goes on to 6ay that in this belief he instructed Mrs Grace Neil!, the assistant inspector, specially appointed for this work, to attend the meetings of the Benevolent Trustees, and thereafter to personally visit and examine in every possible way the recipients of aid, their homes, and their environments. Mrs Neill has faced the facts and taken the consequences. As stated in former reports, the first step towards remedying the exists ing. state of things is to stop the subsidy and reform oifr absurd system of local government.
As to hospital management, the inspector finds in some districts that a tendency is arising to forget that these hospitals are really charitable institutions subsidised by the State for the sake of those who cannot afford medical treatmentin their'own homes. There are, however, many persons' coming frop remote places, young men and women living in lodgings, and strangers in hotels, who_ desire admission as paying patients, specially where single rooms are available. While ■ there can be no objection to this, provided that they pay a fair sum to tho Board for the services rendered, when, however, the further step is taken of paying the medical officer for any operations, etc., that may be performed in the hospital, most stringent measures must be taken to stamp, out the practice wherever-ifc should be discovered to exist. ' '
Mrs Grace Neiir(the assistant inspector}, in her report above referred to, points oat that the system of " boarding out" children in Wellington is most unsatisfactory. The supervision in most cases is merely nominal, and the tendency is still to place the children with applicants for relief. After visiting in their homes so many of the cases getting relief, Mrs Neill is more than ever convinced that the existing mode of outdoor relief "encourages a, cancerous growth of pauperism and many another social evil." .To illustrate her meaning aB lathe inequality and uncertainty in giving on.tdo.or relief, notes of specific cases are appended, .
Gloomy -Prospect.-*-*" you're somebody: now.'V said the neglected horse, looking through the enclosure at the prias pig,."but, ? n e,-of' these days somebody will/invent a •Mfage that, can he made of. ttie oastoff of bioycles, and yourname will be Dennis, too,"
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THE EVILS OF OUTDOOR RELIEF., Evening Star, Issue 10443, 12 October 1897, Supplement