MR. O'CONNOR POWER
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If he can inform the House what steps the Government intend to take with a view to relieving the Union of Swinford from the obligation to pay the full amount of the Seed Rate now due, but which, owing to the distressed condition of the small tenant farmers in that part of Mayo, the Union is at present unable to pay?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
Sir, the purchasers of seed in the Swinford Union have already been afforded every indulgence in regard to repayment which the law allows. The payment of the first instalment of the Seed debt was postponed for one year, and the debt was divided into four instalments. The first of these, amounting to about £6,800, was assessed on the purchasers early this year, and of this assessment nearly £3,800 has been collected, leaving about £3,000 outstanding. To obviate the necessity of the Guardians advancing the whole of this sum of £ 3,000 from the ordinary funds of the Unions to pay the debt to the Board of Works, the Local Government Board is willing, if the Guardians desire it, and make an application to that effect, to ask the Board of Works 747 to give the Guardians an extension of time for the payment of the part of the instalment now due, and to allow that part of it to remain unpaid until after harvest; and I have caused the Guardians to be informed of this in case they may wish to take advantage of it.