Charles Richmond Henderson.

Modern methods of charity; an account of the systems of relief, public and private, in the principal countries having modern methods online

. (page 33 of 73)
Online LibraryCharles Richmond HendersonModern methods of charity; an account of the systems of relief, public and private, in the principal countries having modern methods → online text (page 33 of 73)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ing some special provision for old age with the help and under the
supervision of the state." Reeves is also authority for the state-
ment that the death rate in New Zealand is the lowest in the world,
viz., 9.6 per 1,000, and that the average worker is as old in England
at 60 as in New Zealand at 65. An editorial in the Charity Organi-
zation Review for February, 1903, says that the "Australian states
which have adopted systems of old age pensions seem at the present
time to be laboring rather heavily under the enormous financial
burdens they have taken on their shoulders," and that the Premier of
Victoria in a recent speech regretted the present expenditure as too
burdensome. Also that sons and daughters have in great numbers
in Victoria shifted on the state burdens which they could easily bear.
It is admitted on all hands that the pension act has cost more than
had been calculated and that the present systems are all defective.
Nevertheless the attempt to establish a Federal system of pensions in
accordance with the powers of the central government is now being
made.^ The same journal speaks of this and similar legislation as
"most demoralizing and pauperizing legislation."*

The arguments urged against an old age pension of this nature
are that it discourages thrift ; tends to loosen family obligations to
care for the aged — obligation as binding as to care for the young;
that it offers an extensive field for corruption in administration ; and
that it lays upon society a heavy financial burden. These arguments
are well balanced by those on the other side, as can be imagined,
inasmuch as at the time of the reenactment of the law in New Zea-
land in 1901, 1,400 speeches were made for and against the law. All

'New Zealand Official Year Book, 1902. ^ Reeves.

^Ch. Org. Review, Feb. 1903. * C. O. R., 1904, p. 136.



writers with socialistic tendencies find much to admire in these ex-
periments, while others are inclined to view, them askance. It were
indeed strange if any satisfactory trial could be made with this or
any other kind of legislation in the few years which have passed since
these laws went into operation.

Legislation in New Zealand divides the three islands into thirty
hospital districts to be presided over by elective boards, designated
"Hospital and Charitable Aid Boards,"^ with revenues from: (i)
Endowments vested in the board or set apart for particular institu-
tions; (2) voluntary contributions; (3) grants from contributory
local authorities; (4) subsidies from the Consolidated Fund
[which subsidies are granted at the rate of los. for every £1 of
bequests up to £500 for one bequest, £1 4s. for every £1 local con-
tribution, £1 for every £1 received from local authorities]. These
District Boards are empowered to assess the County and Borough
Councils and Boards of Road and Town Districts for their proper

A State Children's Department in South Australia looks after
destitute and incorrigible children. A Destitute Board has care of
destitute poor supported or relieved by the government. New South
Wales has a council which deals with subsidized children and those
at service.^ Victoria has no council but a very strong central depart-
ment with county committees organized.^

B. Public Poor-Relief Administration.* — The above-men-
tioned boards for hospital and charitable aid distribute alms from the
principal towns in each district. "Outside relief" is distributed to
the lowest bidder, but "rations" are distributed under an officer. The
board also employs a "relieving officer" who investigates all applica-
tions for relief.

^N. Z. Official Year Book, 1902.

"Congress of Charities, Chicago, 1893, voL II.

^J. G. Gray in his book "Australasia Old-New," 1901, says: "It is absurd to
claim that New Zealand has shown the world how to deal with its aged poor, or
given it an object lesson in social economics that it can profit by. There is
nothing of statesmenlike character in the hap-hazard plan which has been adopted
\n that colony, nothing which imparts to it any measure of permanence or an
assured finance. [The individualistic bias of English writers must be considered.
See chapter on Germany. — C. R. H.]

* Coglan, A Statistical Account of the Seven Colonies of Australasia.


A liberal amount of outdoor relief^ is given in all the Australasian
colonies ; the returns are imperfect, but the sum of public and private
aid, indoor and outdoor is equal in the seven colonies to £1,250,000
per annum. Charitable institutions, hospitals included, are supported
by grants from the state and municipalities, by inmates' payment, by
voluntary contributions, in Victoria.^ The number of persons re-
ceiving charitable relief in the colony in one year, not including old
age pensioners, was 127,037, of v^^hom 96,483 were outdoor patients.

C. Private Charity. — Australasia has a liberal amount of
private charities. New South Wales had in 1900 40 metropolitan
and 49 country benevolent associations recorded,^ with a combined
expense of £37,138, which furnished outdoor and other relief to
33,553 persons out of a population of one and one-third millions.
The Government aided 65 of these societies to the amount of £24,979.
South Australia has one in ten of the population in Friendly societies,
Victoria, one in fifteen.

There were in 1897 in Australasia* 3,306 branches of friendly
societies with 276,772 members, or 6.24 per cent, of the population
v.ith a revenue of £1,012,608. Of these Victoria had 1,088; New
South Wales, 817; Queensland, 328; South Australia, 487; Western
Australia, 68; Tasmania, 130; New Zealand, 388. These societies
and associations generally have their own independent boards, yet co-
operate by exchanging reports and information frequently.^

Indiscriminate charity is rigorously discouraged. Applicants,
instead of receiving alms, are directed to those institutions created
to find suitably employment for those able to work, or are investi-
gated if destitute and unable to work.

D. Ecclesiastical Charity.^ — In New South Wales there
are 20 charitable institutions under the Catholics with over 1,000
inmates. None of these are aided by the Government. The Church
of England maintains four, one of which is partly supported by the
Government. The Salvation Army has seven institutions — homes
for women — all with Government aid, while the Wesleyans have one

^ Seven Colonies of Australasia, 1899-1900.

* Ch. Org. Review, Feb., 1903.
•Statistical Register of N. S. W., 1900.

* Australasian Statistics, 1898.

" CoRlan, Statistical Account of Seven Colonies of Australasia, 1902,

* Statistical Review of N. S. Wales, 1900,



orphans' home. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has 29 branches
and distributes outdoor reHef. The CathoHc institutions named above
are for homeless women, for aged poor, rescue homes for the intem-
perate and fallen, female night refuges and soup kitchens, Michael
Davitt says ■} "To the Salvation Army belongs greatest credit of
any Christian body in New Zealand for its thoroughly practical and
unselfish efforts to ameliorate and elevate the fallen of both sexes."

The same general conditions of ecclesiastical work prevail in all
the colonies, and no small part of the relief work is done in this

E. Co-operation and Co-ordination of Public and Private
Relief. — As already noted, the Government cooperates with re-
ligious societies in charitable work and with the friendly societies and
benevolent associations, and with the local district and municipal
boards of various kinds, making grants of money and powers, but
leaving in general the details of legislation and administration to the
local bodies. To illustrate, in New South Wales^ 156 charitable
associations and societies are reported which expended in 1900
£219,516; of these 106 receive Government aid to extent of £150,347.

Movements toward establishment of "clearing-houses" are also
noted. ^ The Melbourne Charity Organization Society promoted
recently a conference in which were represented 26 charitable so-
cieties, which formed an agreement to establish a common register
of those helped "for mutual protection against imposition."

F. Indoor Poor-Relief (in institutions). Public and Pri-
vate. — Australasia is well supplied with institutions for indoor re-
lief.* In the Commonwealth of Australasia 11,614 were cared for
in Destitute Asylums in one year; (including New Zealand), 12,794,
at a cost of £308,315. All large centers have institutions for the
destitute managed on a practically uniform plan.^ The government
of the colony generally grants half the cost, remainder comes from
local sources. Adalaide Asylum (for destitute) answers for the
whole colony and the state (South Australia) contributes the entire
expense. The cost per inmate is annually about £15. Official sal-
aries take but a small proportion of the income. The condition of

^ Life and Progress in Australasia, 1898.
^Statistical Register N. S. Wales, 1900.

* Charity Org. Review, 1902, p. 218.

* Seven Colonies of Australasia, 1899-1900. ** Davitt, p. 163 ff.


admission is a bona fide inability to earn a livelihood. "There is
no social stigma attached to the inmates of these institutions. . . .
The work of providing a shelter free from the idea of shame for
people thus circumstanced is considered in a high spirit of public
duty, and not as an act of municipal or state obligation. [The Au-
stralians] are careful not to sap the dignity of manhood and woman-
hood in their methods of ministering to the needs of those who be-
come destitute. They have not copied the professional charity of
the old world in dealing with their unfortunate fellows." Western
Australia had three charitable institutions, two in Perth, one at
Freemantle, supported by public funds, with 659 inmates (December
31, 1902).

New Zealand has nineteen benevolent asylums for indigent per-
sons, with 1,167 inmates.

G. Vagrants, Homeless Men and Women, Asylums, Ref-
uges, Colonies. — There are no "tramps" in New Zealand. Persons
out of employment are helped by relief boards. If a man is an im-
poster his own district is held responsible for repayment of aid given.
The police have power to arraign before a magistrate any person
with no visible or with insufficient means of support. For begging
there is a three months' imprisonment as penalty. Begging alms or
subscriptions under false pretences is punished with one year's im-
prisonment. The result is that begging is almost unknown.

For the reformation of vagrants the Government establishes "vil-
lage settlements" where land can be had on most favorable terms.
Also the "Improved Farm Settlements" mentioned above is the New
Zealand substitute for poorhouses and jails. To found one of these
a tract of Crown land is selected, and laid out into farms from 10
to 200 acres each. A party of unemployed is then sent out by the
Labor Department. Shelter and work await them. Money is loaned
on the value they create. No rent is asked until an outlet for their
products is provided. In one settlement 98 sections were taken at
once.^ About fifty settlers remain. Seven years ago this tract was
an unbroken forest. The department advances everything except
food, but gives nothing. These settlements are not all successful,
but there were in 1899 2,093 men settled on lands, with families, a
total population of 6,509. Of these improved farm settlements there
were in 1899 in New Zealand 45, of the village homestead settlements,

'Lloyd, Newest England, 1900.


165; the area covered by both, 109,109 acres, with improvements
amounting to £180,822, and rent and interest paid in a year equal
to £5,588. The Unemployed Advisory Board of New South Wales
recommends a state farm as a transit-station for the unemployed, as
an indispensable part of its plan to educate the unemployed. New
Zealand has such a state farm at Levin, where the tramp is sent to
learn to work, if no private employer wants him, or no settlement is
ready or proves attractive to him.

The Bureau of Public Works^ cooperates in the suppression of
vagrancy by throwing open public works to a cooperative system of
working. A government engineer makes an estimate of the cost of
constructing a railroad for instance. Bids are taken and the work
let to gangs of laborers banded together for that purpose, who re-
ceive the same rate per yard for earth or rock excavation as if the
work were let to a contractor. "The system works admirably. It
imbues the laborers with the spirit of self-reliance and independence
so often unknown among laborers." The practical efforts of the
Government for the prevention of distress has been blessed with
signal success. The law in Victoria also forbids begging.

H. Medical Relief. Public and Private Hospitals, Nurses,
Convalescents.^ — The Commonwealth of Australia possesses 278
hospitals, while New Zealand has 43, making a total of 321. Of
these New South Wales has 118, with 618 nurses, of which 105 are
subsidized, three are not subsidized, one is privately endowed, one
is supported by the Government alone.^ .... The admissions in
1900 were 28,691, while 61,192 cases of outdoor relief were given;
the total income from all sources was £191, 029.^* The sources of in-
come are Government subsidies, subscriptions, donations, contribu-
tions by patients, interest on invested funds, and municipal support.
Western Australia has 27 government hospitals, 2 public hospitals,
II assisted hospitals and numerous private hospitals.

A Hospital for Consumptives Fund was started in New South
Wales at the time of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.^ Victoria has two
Convalescent Homes.

^Vagrancy, Pub. Charities in Foreign Countries, U. S. Document, 1893.

''Coglan, Statistical Account of Seven Colonies of Australasia, 1902.

'Wealth and Progress of N. S. Wales.

*Statis. Reg. of N. S. Wales, 1900.

"Coglan, Wealth and Progress of N. S. Wales.


J. Care of Defectives, Public and Private. — All of the seven
colonies have institutions for the insane which are under Government
control. In one year (1898 in some, 1899 in others) 17,070 patients
were treated at a cost of £370,940. Asylums for the afflicted, incur-
able, insane, are all regarded as Government affairs and supported
out of the general revenue. There is at Darlinghurst a Reception
House for the insane, where transfers are made. The total trans-
fers, deaths, and discharges in 1900 were 581. Paramatta has an
institution for the criminal insane. A Lazaret at Little Bay had 13
lepers at close of 1900.

In New Zealand the Jubilee Institute for the Blind at Auckland
(private) receives aid at times out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund
and from the Education Department on account of pupils for whose
tuition the department is responsible. The Sumner Institute is for
deaf mutes. A home for inebriates is at Waitati, to which patients
are committed by judge or magistrate. There are 7 public lunatic
asylums in the colony, maintained wholly or in part out of the public
revenue. There is also one private asylum licensed by the Governor
for the reception of lunatics.

A law was passed in 1902 to compel parents of blind children
and deaf mutes to send them to school and to contribute toward the
expense as they were able.^ The result has been an increase in the
number of candidates for entrance at the Sumner School for Deaf
Mutes. The Jubilee Institute for the Blind at Auckland receives
pay from the state for all state children educated there.

There are seven hospitals for the treatmnt of the insane in
New South Wales under supervision of the Government, six for
ordinary insane, one for criminal insane.^ There are also four
licensed private institutions for insane. Juvenile lunatics are sent
to the Newcastle Hospital. The average weekly cost of maintain-
ing insane patients in hospitals in 1898 was lis. 63^d. per head, of
which the state paid 9s. 5d., the rest being made up by friends.

K. Treatment of Children.^ — In New South Wales there is
a State Children's Relief Board, with the Central Home at Padding-
ton, where children remain only until they are boarded out. There
were under control in April, 1900, a total of 3,844 boys and girls;

^ 25th Annual Rep. of Minister of Ed. of New Zealand.
* Wealth and Progress in N. S. Wales, 1898-99.
'Statistical Register, New South Wales, 1900.



there were placed out in the year to April i, 1901, 596, and dis-
charged in same year 514, making a total under control April i,
1901, of 3,910. Of these, 2,478 were supported by the Government,
143 adopted without payment, and 1,289 apprenticed. Since 1881,
10,862 have been received and 6,952 discharged or died. These chil-
dren were received by the State Children's Relief Board from 34
different institutions, including 8 hospitals, 4 benevolent asylums and
13 Government institutions. The net expenditure for a year is

There is a Children's Protection Board, which registered from
lying-in homes, etc., in 1900, 1,321 infants, of which there were re-
turned to parents or adopted, 742.

There are four orphan asylums in New Zealand ; one is under
a District Hospital Board, one under the Church of England, two
under the Roman Catholic Church. Three of them, constituted
"industrial schools," receive at the charge of the state, orphan, desti-
tute and other children committed to them by the stipendiary magis-

South Australia has^ a State Children's Department, composed
of a Council of 12 ; 2 inspectors, an inquiry officer, accountant, clerks,
inspectress of foster mothers and lying-in houses, matron of Indus-
trial School, superintendent of Protestant Boys' Reformatory, super-
intendent of Catholic Boys' Reformatory, matron of Protestant Girls'
Reformatory, matron of Catholic Girls' Reformatory, and a medical

Here, as in New Zealand and New South Wales, the boarding-
out system is employed. A visiting committee in each county is
maintained to work under the two inspectors. Foster mothers are
licensed; lying-in homes are licensed. All maternity homes require
to be licensed by the State Board of Health. The total number of
children under control of the Council June 30, 1899, was 1,223 I of
these 63 were in industrial schools, 128 in reformatories, 1,004 placed
out, others in various asylums.

The department collects money from defaulting parents and the
fathers of illegitimate children and pays the money thus obtained
to the mothers of the children and thus prevents the committal of
many children. Parents deserting to other colonies are traced at

^Report of State Children's Council, Adalaide, 1899.


infinite pains through cooperation with the police in other colonies.
Expense of Council, 1899, was £16,677.

The trials of children in South Australia were in 1899 conducted
in Police Court, where the charge was felony. Departmental courts
exist, but not for felony. The Council recommends a separate court
for the trial of all children.

The care of dependent children has come to be regarded as edu-
cational rather than as charitable in Australasia.^ Everywhere the
Government accepts the position as parental guardian to those chil-
dren who fall into its custody. The system is not merely official, but
in all the colonies volunteer inspectors cooperate and thus lessen
the cost of supervision and make the method more popular.

South Australia has a "Destitute Asylum" for unwedded mothers,
where the mother is required to stay six months with the child and
is then placed in service with her child if possible.

The Council of the Melbourne Charity Organization Society- has
lately formed a Child Protection Committee for promoting the co-
operation of child-saving societies, legislation for protecting child-
hood. The report of the State Children's Council for South Au-
stralia says that juvenile crime is increasing.^

South Australia has a system of outdoor relief which prevents
many children being thrown on the state.* The Government aids a
widow with children. She is supposed to maintain herself and one
child. For two children one ration is allowed her, for three one
and one-half rations in food and other necessities.

L. Care of Youth, 12-18 Years of Age. — Orphanages and
industrial schools for abandoned children or children of incapable
parents and reformatories for incorrigible children, and the placing
out as apprentices are the usual methods in the colonies.

Under the First Offenders' Probation Act in New Zealand, 83
per cent, of the prisoners placed on probation have done well ; 2.41
per cent, have eluded the probation officers and absconded. The
probation officer's work is done gratuitously.

M. Preventive Work. — The Public Trustee of New Zealand
takes charge of estates where no will is left, lunatics' estates, funds
left for charitable purposes, funds for relief of widows of men killed

^Congress of Charities, Chicago, '93. ''Char. Org. Review, 1903.

'Char. Org. Review, 1902.

* International Cong, of Charities, Chicago, 1893.



in accidents, and maintains a number of cottages in which certain
poor people are allowed to Hve. The Unemployed Advisory Board
of New South Wales, the Labor Bureau, Land Department and De-
partment of Public Works in New Zealand, through their various
agencies mentioned above, work effectively to prevent a large part
of the pauperism seemingly inevitable in other lands. ^Also the
general government has labor bureaus established throughout the
colonies, where information is always available as to where employ-
ment can be found.^ The Prison Brigade Homes of the Salvation
Army for prisoners who have served sentences, have each a few
acres attached which help them to be self-sustaining. Ex-prisoners
may wait here until employment is found for them. The "Army"
has also labor bureaus and renders invaluable aid to those seeking


Australasian Statistics, 1898, compiled by Gov't of Victoria.

Aldis, W. S., Charity Organization Review, 1903. Art. Old Age Pensions in
N. Zealand.

Burdett's Hospitals and Charities, 1896, and 1903, London.

Bliss, W. D. P., Cyclopedia of Social Reform, New York, 1897.

Charities Register and Digest, Annual, London, 1903.

Charity Organization Review, February, 1903.

Charities Review, vol. VI, Art. Hindoo Charity (unsigned).

Charity Review, The Quarterly, Melbourne, Australia.

Congress of Charities, Chicago, 1893, vol. II. Art. Care of Children.

Coglan, T. A., A Statistical Account of the Seven Colonies of Australasia, 1902.

Coglan, T. A., The Wealth and Progress of N. S. Wales, 1 898-1 899.

Davitt, M., Life and Progress in Australasia, London, 1898.

Fairclough, P. W., Old Age Pensions in N. Zealand, in New Century Review,

Gray, J. Grattan, Australasia, Old and New, New York, 1901.

Howe, W. F., Classiiied Directory to the Metropolitan Charities, 1895.

Hill, Florence Davenport, Children of the State.

Lusk, Hugh H., Old Age Pensions, The Arena, June, 1900.

Lloyd, Henry D., Newest England, New York, 1900.

Montgomery, W. H., Old Age Pensions in N. Z., Review of Reviews, 1898.

New Zealand Official Year Book, 1902.

New Zealand, Twenty-fifth Annual Rep. Minister Education, 1902.

Report of State Children's Council of South Australia, 1903.

^ Davitt, Life and Progress in Australasia.


Report of Royal Commission on Charities in Australia.
Report of Inspector of Charitable Institutions in Victoria, 1903.
Report of State Children's Council, year end. June 30, 1899, Adalaide.
Reeves, W. P., State Experiments in Australia-New Zealand, London, 1902.
Statistical Register, New South Wales, 1900.
Seven Colonies of Australasia, The, 1 899-1 900.
Statesman's Year Book, 1903, 1904.
Sessional Papers of House of Lords, 1898-99.

Special Consular Report, Washington, D. C, 1893 (Art. on Vagrancy in Public
Charities in Foreign Countries).

South Australia, Statistical Register, Adalaide, 1900.

Third International Congress for Welfare of Children, Report, 1903.

Vigoroux, Evolution Sociale en Australasia, Paris, 1902.

Walker, Henry De Rosenbach, Australian Democracy, London, 1897.



The Dominion of Canada is composed of seven provinces — Que-
bec, Nova Scotia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Co-

Online LibraryCharles Richmond HendersonModern methods of charity; an account of the systems of relief, public and private, in the principal countries having modern methods → online text (page 33 of 73)