Report of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress
London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1909.
2 Reports (Majority and Minority) in 1 volume. Folio, 13 x 9 inches, 34 x 22 cms. 1909. xiii [intro]; pages 1-718 [Majority Report, including 3 large folding statistical charts of the number of paupers]; pages 719-1,238 [Minority Report].
Library quarter morocco over maroon cloth. An immaculate and untouched volume, a single library 'Reserve stock' stamp noticed, with the bookplate of a North of England Library and Museum Reference Department and with the blindstamp of the library on the outer top cover.
The Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress 1905-09 was a body set up by the British Parliament in order to investigate how the Poor Law system should be changed. The commission included Poor Law guardians, members of the Charity Organisation Society, members of local government boards as well as the social researchers Charles Booth and Beatrice Webb.
The Commission spent four years investigating and eventually produced two conflicting reports known as the 'Majority Report' (718 pages) and the 'Minority Report' (520 pages). Both are here given in full.
The commission was set up by an outgoing Conservative government and was chaired by Lord George Hamilton. The scale of the enquiry was considerable with huge volumes of documentary evidence collected. Although the two reports produced came from opposing political ideologies, there was some common ground between them. Namely, a consensus that the Poor Law should not continue in its current form, a desire to standardise provision and a recognition of structural failure as an element of the problem of involuntary poverty. (Wiki)
NOTE: The volume is large and heavy and must be collected in York, Yorkshire. No postage unless by prior special arrangement.