§ MR. C. DODD
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he can state approximately the number of cottages for labourers that have been built or acquired in Ireland under the Labourers (Ireland) Acts, 1883 to 1892, by Rural Sanitary Authorities; whether he has any information of the average cost of them, or of the average cost of building them; whether he proposes to ask Her Majesty's Government to consider the propriety of bringing in a Bill to amend those Acts, so as to render the exercise of the compulsory powers cheaper and subject to less delay by the adoption of some mode of compulsory purchase similar to that in the Local Government Bill; and whether the rents for cottages under those Acts have been paid to the Rural Authorities with regularity?
MR. J. MORLEY
The total number of cottages provided for labourers in Ireland under the Acts referred to, up to the end of August last, is 10,142, at a cost in round numbers of £1,206,000, or an average of about £119 for each cottage. A Return presented to the House in December on the Motion of the hon. Member for West Kerry, and now in the hands of the printers, contains detailed information ill regard to this matter. I have carefully considered, in consultation with the Local Government Board, the question of simplifying and cheapening the procedure under the Labourers Acts, and have come to the conclusion that no administrative improvements with this object, in the existing arrangements, can be brought about, and that without fresh legislation no changes in this direction can be effected. As to the payment of rents, I am informed that, speaking generally, they are fairly well paid, but that in some Unions there are considerable arrears outstanding.