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relief, and it is a great misfortune to the interests of the poor
that no attempt is made to utilise and co-ordinate our vast
system of endowed and voluntary charity in some intelligible
co-operation with our Poor Law.

(2) It is necessary, somehow, to have the administration
in the hands of persons who are competent to weigh and con-
sider the economic theory and historical experience that
relates to the growth and cure of pauperism. It is a public
misfortune that for the most part the aid which might be
derived from knowledge of this kind is entirely neglected by
the normal class of administrator.

(3) It is at the same time necessary that scientific experi-
ment should not be allowed to outrun public opinion, and so
produce a reaction.

It was this third consideration probably which prevented
his colleagues from accepting the plan of Sir E. Chad wick.
The course pursued, however, has had this disadvantage that
it has perpetuated an unscientific treatment of the disease, and
the danger of reaction against the very modest reforms which
were introduced in 1834 has by no means been avoided. The
unscientific treatment keeps the disease alive. It is open to
argue that the bolder plan recommended by Sir E. Chad wick
would have so largely remedied the disease that the evil
would have been reduced to very small dimensions, and there
would have been no occasion for popular discontent. This,
indeed, seems to be the experience wherever bold schemes of
dispauperisation have been adopted. There is in such places
much less dissatisfaction than is the case in places where



POOR LAW KEFORM 168

pauperism is allowed to expand under the encouragement of
an ill-considered administration of the law.

How far the timidity which stood in the way of the
adoption of Sir E. Chadwick's thorough policy will be allowed
to govern the situation to-day it is for politicians to decide.
It would, however, be wrong in any discussion of the subject
to omit mention of Sir E. Chadwick's plan for the creation
of a civil service for the administration of the Poor Law. Its
adoption would be attended by difficulties, but, recommended
as it has been by such high authority, we hesitate to pro-
nounce it impracticable.

It should be added that Sir E. Chadwick's scheme was
advocated not only on the ground that it would get rid of
empirical local management, and so result in a diminution of
artificially created pauperism, and in a corresponding develop-
ment of economic independence among the poorer classes, but
it was also argued that it would be much more efficient, more
particularly in the matter of sanitary and medical relief, and
in the matter of contracts and stores much more economical.

A reform in the direction indicated would probably com-
mend itself only to those who were thoroughly convinced of
the badness of our present system, and who also had very
definite views as to the right measure of reform. Such
persons would be a minority, and possibly it may be more
hopeful to work towards a better administration through the
duly constituted popularly elected bodies.

In this case it is submitted that the popular element
would be sufficiently preserved by making the Board of
Guardians a sub-committee of a larger body, e.g. a Com-
mittee of the County Council (with additional nominated
members) ; charitable as opposed to legal effort should be
given representation.

The present jurisdiction of the Local Government Board
was devised for the purpose of securing emendations of the
law and developing the task of dispauperisation along
approved lines. It has to a large extent failed because it

M 2



164 METHODS OF SOCIAL ADVANCE

has not had its representatives on the local boards. It is
impossible for a central board to coerce or guide a body
which is impervious to the ideas which govern its policy.
The ideas which formerly inspired the central authority,
ideas which, roughly speaking, were the ideas of experts,
should be given representation on the administrative bodies.
There is now a further justification for a large nominated
body in view of the contribution from taxes, the vote of the
irresponsible compound householder, and the unrepresented
position of corporations. It is suggested that these nomina-
tions should be in the hands of the Local Government Board.
In this way an admininstrative body might be secured which
would be competent to grapple in an intelligent manner with
the economic problems with which the relief of the poor is
surrounded.

This paper is written from the point of view of those who
have made a more or less careful study of the question, and
who as the result of that study believe in the possibility of a
great reformation, a great dispauperisation of the poorer
class. Our first object is to get a competent tribunal before
whom we can make our suggestions. This we have never
had a view which, in large measure, would be endorsed by
the inspectors of the Local Government Board if they were
allowed to speak their mind freely.

A step in the desired direction would be taken if the
composition of the administrative boards were altered in the
manner above suggested.

A few more remarks may now be added, though they
are of a nature more suitable for the consideration of an
executive relief authority such as that now contemplated
than for that of the legislator. On the above hypothesis we
are content to leave the choice of the policy to be followed
to the decision of a local authority. Our argument and
contention up to this point is that, as far as possible, pains
shall be taken to make the authority a competent one.

The argument that should be placed before every public



POOE LAW EEFOEM 165

body charged with the duty of pauper management is that
a policy of dispauperisation is not only desirable, but possible.
The history of successful experiments in dispauperisation is
on record and well authenticated. There is the reform of 1834,
the result of which was that the able-bodied took up responsi-
bilities which previously had been thought beyond his power.
This was effected by an Act of the Legislature and by the
Orders of the Commissioners, now the Local Government
Board. It has been argued that a still larger range of
responsibility can at the present time be most beneficially
relegated to the able-bodied period of life by a similar policy
of restriction in the methods of Poor Law administration.
Certain boards have acted on this supposition, and the
success of the experiment has been most confidently
asserted.

There is no need to go further into the details of these
experiments and demonstrations, and they are mentioned
here only for the purpose of explaining one of the recom-
mendations already made with regard to the composition of
the new boards, which otherwise might be misunderstood,

It was suggested, a few pages back, that representation
should be given on the official relief board to the voluntary
and endowed charities. The object of this is to facilitate
agreement on points of general policy between the work of
the legal and the voluntary sources of relief. Dispauperisa-
tion largely depends on a better understanding and more
intelligible division of labour between these two agencies.

The main object of both is to relieve adequately, and at
the same time to call forth, or at least to discourage as little
as possible, the development of competent economic habits and
character among the poor. Experience seems to show that
this is best effected by placing in front of legal relief an
automatic test which will depend not on the caprice of the public
authority, but on the willingness of the poor to accept it.
Institutional relief is adequate, and it will be accepted only in
cases, where its necessity is admitted by the applicant who in



166 METHODS OF SOCIAL ADVANCE

such matters is the only competent judge. Legal relief is
regarded as the right of every one who constructively is, or
has been, a ratepayer, and indeed, by all inhabitants of the
union ; and it ought to be fenced with some efficient, impartial,
and equitable check. This is provided by the institutional
test. No such test can be applied in the case of applicants
for relief at their own homes. The decision of guardians can
never be quite satisfactory ; it will never be accepted by
applicants as altogether equitable and impartial. The division
of work, therefore, which has been found most serviceable has
been one which leaves with the legal authority the responsi-
bility of institutional relief and leaves with the voluntary
agencies the task of giving relief at the home of the
applicant*

The task of discrimination with regard to applicants for
domiciliary relief, to whom no sort of test can be applied, is
admittedly very difficult ; but the task is easier for a charitable
society than for a legal authority drawing its resources from
public funds, and for this reason : that the poor do not apply
so readily for relief from a voluntary charity as from a State-
supported authority, and the moderation of the poor is thus
called to the assistance of the administrator. Under this
division of labour there is a greater scope for the development
of provident and economic effort, and it is on this element and
not on either legal or charitable relief that the well-being and
progress of the poorer classes must be founded.

In recommending, therefore, that some representation of
charitable effort (endowed and voluntary) should be given on
the new relief boards, it should be made clear that this is
urged in the interest of a general understanding only. It
has been found a fatal error to allow the Board of Guardians
to interfere with the details of the administration of the
charitable agencies. If the charitable agencies are simply to
register the recommendations of the Board of Guardians,
friction is sure to arise, and what is perhaps even more
important, the disinclination of the poor to apply for charity



POOR LAW REFORM 167

(as opposed to legal relief) is largely removed, and the dis-
pauperising influence of the division of work is nullified.

For this reason it is preferable to speak of a division of
labour rather than of a co-operation. The charitable agencies
must take, within the division assigned to them, a full
responsibility, or the arrangement will not work well.

Under such an arrangement, many will be prepared to
argue, outdoor relief from the legal authority might with great
advantage be entirely abolished. This opinion, however, is
not likely to be accepted ; and as the present proposal is
based on the expectation that* given a competent local tribunal,
this policy will in time approve itself, it will be enough that
it shall advance gradually. Instead, therefore, of the
automatic institutional test (which in the judgment of many
is the best, because it is absolutely impartial and equal to
all), most Boards would probably begin with the test of full
investigation. As things are at present constituted, the duty
of full investigation by the Believing Officer, although
expressly called for by the Orders of the Local Government
Board, is almost universally neglected. Some Boards of
Guardians have, by a thorough and real system of investigation,
reduced the number of their applicants and their outdoor list
almost as much as by the stricter system ; but as a rule the
investigation which satisfies most boards is entirely perfunctory.

All this would be simple enough and easy of attainment
if we had competent administrative bodies, which realised the
gravity of the issues, the need of so distributing relief that the
development of economic habit and character is not choked
and destroyed by the growth of parasitic conditions of life.

To sum up : It is not possible to get the present admini-
strative bodies to depart from their entirely empirical attitude
and to seek the aid of science and experience which the
difficulty of their task requires.

It is probably foreign to our Constitution to have a great
bureaucratic organisation, such as that contemplated by Sir
E. Chadwick.



168 METHODS OF SOCIAL ADVANCE

The above suggestion is made with a view of finding a
practical compromise.

The great need of the day is the creation of a local Poor
Law authority which shall be capable of apprehending, weigh-
ing, and applying the experience and arguments of economic
experts.

T. M.



169



XV
A CHAEITIES BOAED

ENDOWED charities have passed through many vicissitudes.
They have been encouraged by the Legislature, blessed by
religion, bequeathed as a thanksgiving of the dying, or paid
as dona deo, estate tithes for God and the general good.
They have been left for charitable uses out of mean motives,
and have been made worthless by stupid conditions. They
have been criticised as a cause of social mischief, and vilified
as an antiquated nuisance, mismanaged and stolen, shunted
aside, schemed for, settled and resettled, fought over and
forgotten. Their woes are of a ghostly kind. They are the
spiritual relics of the thought of our ancestors not flesh and
blood, nor yet mere property ; but gifts which represent the
thought of another time and are struggling still to serve men,
as, in their several ways, old bridges and buildings, old lime-
tree avenues, and the serviceable plants that have travelled to
us from plot to plot through a continent, still serve us by the
thought of bygone architects and forgotten gardeners. These
ancestral transfers we accept as bounties, and receive with
admiration and gratitude. But in regard to our ancestral
charities we have questions and misgivings. They seem to
require of us a spiritual effort, as though they would con-
demn us, if we are indolent, or have not the wit to use
them.

The Charity, indeed, requires that each successive genera-
tion of trustees the givers that give in the donor's place
should continue in some manner his thought, though the



170 METHODS OF SOCIAL ADVANCE

use of his gift be modified. The gift needs the man and this
ancestral thought, that it may be re-given rightly as the years
pass by. The bridge or the building makes perhaps a similar
call on the generation that enjoys it ; but it challenges the
thought of the generation at intervals only, when restoration
is talked of and large repairs are necessary. The personal
element in it counts for less. It is for the community :
anyone can use it. But the gift is personal not for anyone,
but for individuals who are in some kind of want or are pre-
sumed to be so. Thus the gift exiled from the thought
of the donor, and not cherished*in the thoughts of his suc-
cessors individually, becomes mere property hardly that even,
for the true owner is lacking mere stuff and matter, used
without invention and managed without responsibility. It
has then no natural defenders, and becomes the prey of the
avaricious and the idle. Given without responsibility, it
creates irresponsibility. It makes pauperism. But if the
old thought is good, and is rekindled, or if the old thought is
obsolete or even if the old thought was wrong or mistaken
and men endow the gift with new thought and readapt it to
new social ends, the gift is literally reanimated, becomes part
and parcel of the younger generation, forwards their enter-
prises, and prevents their pauperism.

The criticism of the endowed charity, therefore, is largely
a criticism of the charity and intelligence of the generation
that is making use of it, and the problem of the use and
management of these charities is of present importance.
However it may be criticised, the instinct to leave charitable
bequests and create endowments remains, and is actively at
work in our community. The Charity Commissioners state
that * there is reason to think that the latter half of the nine-
teenth century will stand second, in respect of the greatness
and variety of the charities created within its duration, to no
other half-century since the Eeformation. ' l

The old the Elizabethan view of endowed charities is
1 Forty-second Eeport, 1895, p. 17.



OF TH

A CHABITIES BOA|j> UNIVERS.

OF

[LIE



not the modern. The Poor Law and
Charitable Uses were passed in the same year. It was
provided in the former that a surplus on the poor rate a
personal tax in its original form might be used in aid of
> charities in the county. 1 Endowed and voluntary charity
was supported as an ally of the statutory system, not as an
alien and antiquated rival. The Poor Law brought into
common committee and conference the new race of overseers
and the old race of churchwardens. Neither rate-relief nor
voluntary or endowed charity was accepted as sufficient by
itself. Each was to have its place.

The history of the Poor Law is in great measure the
history of the breach of this contract and of its results, direct
and indirect. For there was in the field yet another factor,
which had a great influence the settlement of the rate of
wages by magisterial edict. To the wage thus fixed the poor
rate served by degrees more and more as a financial supple-
ment ; and in the circumstances naturally endowed charity
and voluntary charity counted for less and less as the poor
rate mounted up and the peasantry of England became a
class of subsidised poor. The Unions of the new Poor Law,
created at a time when the fortunes of Charity were almost
at the lowest ebb, stereotyped the legal system of poor relief.
The elected Board of Guardians had no relation to charitable
administration. The old compact was treated as obsolete.
The parishes and their charities were superseded by the
Unions. The divorce of Charity and the Poor Law was
complete.

The inutility of the endowed charities considered as mere
funds had indeed declared itself before the new Poor Law.
Divested of any serious purpose, and filling no definite place

1 ' For the relief of the poor hospitals of the county, and of those that
sustain losses by fire, water, the sea, and other casualties, and to such
other charitable purposes, for the relief of the poor, as to the more part
of the said Justices of the Peace shall seem convenient.' 43 Eliz., c. 2,
15 (1601). This clause was, I believe, repealed in the reign of George
the Second.



172 METHODS OF SOCIAL ADVANCE

in the social organisation, managed too with little regard to
the principles of charitable administration the knowledge of
which was at that time comparatively slight and vague, the
charities had in great measure lost their potency for good.
The very property itself did not escape from the pilferer and
the grabber. Much was lost ; while at the same time, in a
spirit that might easily lend itself to the temptations of
alienation, managers often considered the administration of
their trusts a private charge and treated with indignation
any demand for information a state of feeling that has not
wholly passed away even now. Thus in the midst of
suspicions of pilfering and jobbing and neglect on one side,
and on the other an assumption of privilege and of the rights
of private control, Lord Brougham's famous investigation
was started in 1818 and continued with very great persistency.
The main question was the preservation of the property of
the charities ; the subsidiary question the desirability in the
public interest of continuing to apply the income to its
original uses. No attempt was made no attempt could
have been made at that time to give any unity of organisa-
tion to the charities, to draw them together as a large and
important part of the social resources of the nation. The
Charitable Trusts Acts of 1853, 1855 and 1860 l mark the limit
to which it was then possible to push legislation. Accounts
were to be sent in. A staff of inspectors for purposes of
inquiry was appointed. Advice might be asked. A most
useful system of official trusteeship was created, by which
the expenses formerly attaching to the appointment of new
trustees was saved, the property of the charity secured, and
only the administration of it left to the trustees; and the
very useful power of revising the uses of charities formerly
exercised only by the Court of Chancery was placed in the
hands of the Charity Commissioners subject, however, to
the proviso that the Commissioners could not make a scheme
for a charity exceeding 50 a year unless the trustees them-
1 16 & 17 Viet. c. 137 ; 18 & 19 Viet. e. 124 ; 23 & 24 Viet. c. 136.



A CHARITIES BOARD 173

selves asked them to do so. This was indeed a strange example
of distrustful legislation, ready to expose the smaller fry of
charity to the schemes of the innovator, but guarding the
bigger fish from any such official interference. So the law
still stands. Two important steps, however, have been taken.
In the case of the City of London large masses of parochial
charities were reorganised by special statute, and ecclesias-
tical charities were separated from civil charities, a principle
afterwards applied to parochial charities under the Local
Government Act of 1894 and the Local Government Act
of 1899 ; and, speaking generally, the administration of the
civil charities of the vestry, the overseer, and the church-
warden has been placed in the hands of the local authorities,
which in the past ten years have been in large measure reorgan-
ised. Lastly, it should be added, a new survey of the endowed
charities in counties and county boroughs has been commenced,
half the expense of which is met by the local authority. 1

All these things make for organisation. But with the
advance of knowledge as to the methods of charity and the
general acquisition of greater skill in the care and treatment
of persons and families in distress, more should now become
possible, I venture to think. At present when schemes have
been adopted there is little or no continuous inspection as to
their subsequent operation. The staff, no doubt, is wanting,
but the need exists. The accounts of charities are furnished

1 Year by year some 400 or 500 hitherto unreported charities are
placed on the 'Unreported Register' of the Charity Commissioners.
' The number of new charities annually created by deed or will and
subject wholly or partially to the jurisdiction of the Commissioners
averages not less than 500 ' (Forty-first Report of the Commissioners,
1894, p. 14). On the New Register of Charities required to render their
accounts to the Commissioners which was compiled in 1898-1899, and
consisted of sixteen large volumes, there were at that time (Forty -sixth
Report, p. 12) entries of 70,547 separate charities with certain necessary
details in each case. For the support of almshouses and pensioners and
for distribution in gifts in money or kind or for the general uses of the
poor and available for the relief of the aged poor, there are sums
amounting to nearly 1,000,000 a year.



174 METHODS OF SOCIAL ADVANCE

to the Commission, but they are not published, nor is there
a sufficient staff to audit them. There is no Year-book of
Endowed Charities. No one fulfils for charities a function
similar to that of the Kegistrar in relation to Friendly
Societies. And, to turn to local administration, trustees have
usually no sufficient means of making inquiry in regard
to applicants and verifying their statements. There is no
general organisation for such purposes at their disposal,
and the charities are not connected with any general system
of inquiry and assistance. Help obtained from relatives
rarely forms part of the relief of those who receive moneys
from an endowment. The gifts from the endowment may
indeed, like many other gifts, take the place of help from the
family and its members: may become that strange social
paradox a charity that makes people less charitable. There
is seldom also any group of almoners and visitors who act
for the trustees, care for their beneficiaries, see that their
circumstances do not alter for the worse while their income
becomes less adequate for their needs, and report systematically
about them to the Board. Eelatives may die or withdraw
their help, and the trustees may not know of it. A pensioner
may have long required medical attention or removal to
hospital or infirmary, may even die under conditions of the
gravest neglect, and there is no visitor to report to them.
On the other hand, it is now evident that the alliance of the
endowed charity with any active and skilled corps of visitors
and almoners attached to a Charity Organisation Committee or
some similar body will supplement the work of the trustees
and meet these difficulties difficulties which are recognised
and appreciated as knowledge of the methods of charity


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