I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Irish Boards of Guardians have power to purchase or rent land, not exceeding 50 acres for any parish, and to open workshops for setting destitute able-bodied persons to work, and to pay such persons reasonable wages for their labours; and whether a Circular, similar to that issued in England, has been sent to the Boards of Guardians in Ireland pointing out the necessity and utility of undertaking reproductive works to give employment where needed?
MR. ASQUTTH (for Mr. J. MORLEY)
The Local Government Board state that Irish Boards of Guardians have no power to take land for the purpose mentioned in the first paragraph of the question. As regards the second paragraph, the Local Government Board report that if the necessity should arise they will issue a Circular to Sanitary Authorities and Boards of Guardians in Ireland drawing attention to any exceptional distress or the condition of the poorer classes. The Board's Inspectors have general instructions to report in the event of distress arising in any of their districts, but up to the present the Board have not received a representation from any Inspector of that nature, excepting in one case which affects a very small area.