§ *MR. MICHAEL AUSTIN (Limerick, W.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been directed to a meeting of the Rural Sanitary Authority of Limerick, held on the 15th inst., to consider representations under the Labourers' Acts, at which Lord Clarina declared that if any labourer in his employment applied for a cottage he would be dismissed, as he considered the granting of those cottages was nothing more or less than outdoor relief; and what steps will be taken by the Local Government Board in protecting those labourers who apply for cottages under the Statute?
MR. F. A. O'KEEFFE (Limerick)
asked a similar question.
MR. J. MORLEY
With reference to this question, and the similar one in the name of the hon. Member for West 1255 Limerick, I have seen a newspaper report of the proceedings in question. Lord Clarina appears at the same time to have expressed his willingness to provide each of his labourers with a suitable house and a quarter acre of ground. With regard to the remark that the building of cottages under the Labourers' Acts is equivalent to granting outdoor relief to the labourers concerned, Lord Clarina based this observation apparently on the fact that the rents of the cottages, even when well paid, are by no means sufficient to meet the annual charge to the ratepayers in respect of the cost of the cottages, repairs, &c., and that practically the labourers were therefore receiving relief from the ratepayers to the extent required to make up the deficit.
§ MR. CYRIL J. S. DODD (Essex, Maldon)
May I ask whether the rate charged to the ratepayers is not caused to a great extent by the great expense of taking land compulsorily under these Acts?
MR. J. MORLEY
No doubt the cost of exercising compulsory powers is great, but whether it covers the whole of the ground or not I do not know.
§ *MR. M. AUSTIN
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, according to the report of the proceedings, Lord Clarina described the labourers as a "parcel of howling, ignorant fellows," and is it compatible with his position as a Justice of the Peace to make use of the intimidating threats referred to in the question.