HC Deb 14 June 1880 vol 252 cc1899-900

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, In which of the scheduled unions in Ireland distress is now most severe; how long it is likely to continue; what amount of the advances already granted has been apportioned to each of these districts, and what amount has been actually spent in each up to the present time; when the works passed at the various baronial sessions will be carried out; and, if the entire sum already, and about to be granted (£1,500,000), is likely to reach the classes for whom it was intended in time to save them from the effects of scarcity and starvation?


With respect to the hon. Member's first Question, I cannot state in which of the Scheduled Unions the distress is most severe. It varies week by week from Union to Union; but I can state that the distress is most severe especially in Donegal and Mayo, and in parts of Roscommon, Sligo, and the West Riding of Galway, and also in parts of Cork, Kerry, and Clare. I trust it will not continue longer than the harvest, but hon. Members are as well able to form an opinion on that point as the Government. I am glad to say, however, we have good reports of the crops. I have, by a Return laid on the Table, shown the advances made in each barony, and I hope it will soon be in the hands of Members. I have endeavoured to ascertain the amount spent for each week, but it is impossible to obtain it exactly. As regards the time when the baronial sessions work will be carried out, it has always been our endeavour to get these works carried out before the harvest; but the Question is one to which I can only answer by stating what we are endeavouring to carry out. The question as to the application of the £1,500,000 about to be granted has been already debated in this House on the Belief Bill, and I suppose it will be debated again. I may say that I rely on no works to save the people from starvation. To some extent out-door relief must be given, though, doubtless, part of the landlords' money will be spent before the harvest.