§ MR. SEXTON
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has considered a resolution of the Westport Board of Guardians, adopted on the 23rd April last, representing that the wages paid on relief works in that Union (6s. a week) are inadequate to supply families with the necessaries of life; that the cessation of spring labour has left numbers of people destitute; and that in the most impoverished mountainous divisions of the Union, where distress is most extensive, no relief works whatever have been started; whether his attention has been given to a resolution adopted by the same Board, on the 28th ultimo, representing that the unforeseen extension of outdoor relief in that Union this year will cause a material increase in the already oppressive poor rate, and applying to the Lord Lieutenant to postpone the first instalment in repayment of the seed supply loan from this year until next, as the ratepayers are not at present able to bear any further augmentation of the rate; and what action will be instituted upon those resolutions?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
The resolution adopted by the Westport Board of Guardians on April 23 as to wages on relief works, was duly received and considered. Its representations referred to appear, however, to have been made under some misapprehension. Able-bodied labourers on the relief works in that Union receive not 6s., but 7s. a week; nor is it the case that in the most impoverished mountainous divisions of the Union no relief works have been started. On the contrary, 14 such divisions are directly served by works giving employment to upwards of 1,300 persons, while the railway employs about 500 additional persons, and the charitable fund is relieving very many others. Inquiries are being made as to the receipt of the second resolution referring to the unforeseen extension of outdoor relief in that Union.