§ Mr. J. O'CONNOR (Tipperary, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is the intention of the Government to compensate the Poor Law Unions of Ireland for the expenses incurred by them in connection with extension of the franchise in 1885; whether, in view of the high local rates in Ireland and the generally distressed condition of the unions, he will consider the advisability of relieving the rates by making those expenses an Imperial charge; and, whether he can inform the House how many Poor Law Unions in Ireland have passed Resolutions protesting against the imposition of the charge on the local rates?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
Questions on this subject have already been answered this Session, and I can add nothing to former replies. As the Irish Government are advised, the proposal of the hon. Member is one that could not 482 be carried out without legislation. It is one which concerns the whole Kingdom, rather than Ireland exclusively; and it is a question more for the Treasury than for the Irish Government whether they would sanction the introduction of a Bill for the purpose of legalizing the proposed payment. I am aware that Resolutions to the effect stated have, from time to time, been received from a number of unions.