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undertaken by independent observers or local authorities. We have
at our disposal, however, indirect evidence as to the extent of the
~ evil the importance of which it would be foolish to under­estimate,
g and all of which serves we think to point to a very real and serious
’ increase in overcrowding. When we read of families seeking admis-
sion to our workhouses owing to their inability to secure accommo-
_ dation, we certainly get a glimpse of the house famine in our midst, .
and it requires but a slight intercourse with the people themselves in
· order to appreciate the unparalleled scarcity of house accommodation.
What these people tell you is fully conürmed by house­agents and
landlords, who have assured me that never previously have they
been so deluged with applications for houses. For this scarcity our
policy in the past has been very largely to blame. W'e have demo- ,
lished insanitary areas without rehousing, at any rate those displaced,
and thus driven the poorer classes from one slum only that they may
create others. We have enforced our sanitary requirements in the
case of many houses, which have as the result been closed, the _‘ l
displaced tenants adding to the original congestion of our slums.
Unless we change our policy and do something to relieve the ten- i
sion we shall seriously cripple the administration of our sanitary
authorities. In the area in which I practise extensive demolitions I
for quay improvements and business premises have served to accen-
., tuate the evil, an experience which has been general and deserves
j our attention. · ~
Q‘ An indirect test of the measure of overcrowding is the number
of single-room tenements, the especial dangers of which have been
uf clearly demonstrated by many observers, and by none more -
gg thoroughly than by Dr. Russell, the late Medical Ofücer of Health
for Glasgow. It is unnecessary for me to add anything to what has
p already been said as to their peculiar danger, it being now well­known _
that the most baneful effects of overcrowding are met with where
one-roomed tenements are general. In two towns having the same
percentage of overcrowding the evil would be greater in the one
in which the single-room tenement system more largely prevailed.
In the area of which I have spoken and of which I am familiar with
4 every house, there has been within the last ten years a very large
increase in the number of single-room dwellings. Several streets
‘ are now largely composed of such tenements where previously
l, houses of two or three rooms were the rule and not the exception,
while a corresponding shrinkage is also to be observed in surrounding
g' districts which can hardly be called slums. These houses, previously
l occupied by two families, are now accommodating three or four, so
i, that in considering the question of overcrowding we must not forget
l that seemingly respectable property is being permeated with this
l curse, and that it is to be found in districts less open to observation
than the slums of our large towns. As an instance of the terrible T
>~ overcrowding of single rooms, I came across a case a few days
ago in which a blind man, his wife and five children, aged respec-
tively 17, 1o, 7, 4, 2 years, were occupying one room in a wretched
tenement house. The cubic air­space necessary for this family