HC Deb 20 February 1896 vol 37 cc691-2
CAPTAIN R. G. W. CHALONER (Wilts, Westbury)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he will agree to the Motion for a Return as to Labourers' Cottages in Ireland which stands on the Paper this day?


The last Annual Report of the Local Government Board for Ireland gives detailed particulars in relation to the working of the Labourers Acts up to the 31st March 1895, including, amongst other things, the number of cottages erected in each Union in Ireland, the amount of loans sanctioned by the Treasury, and the average weekly rent charged. Similar information brought down to the 31st proximo will be contained in the Report for 1896, to be issued in a few months. No advances have been made to private owners under the Labourers (Ireland) Act of 1883, or any Act amending the same. Advances for labourers' cottages have been made to private owners, under the Land Improvement Act (10 Vic. c. 32), the Land Law Act of 1881 and Acts amending it, and the total amount of the advances could be given, but not the number of cottages built—of which a record has not been kept—or the rents charged. With this information before him, I trust my hon. and gallant Friend will not press for the Return in question; but if there is any point on which he requires further information, I shall be happy to supply it to him if he will communicate with me privately.


I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland the cause of delay in the erection of the few labourers' cottages in Longford Union, passed at an Inquiry held now nearly two years ago; and will he urge on the Local Government Board the necessity of having all the legal steps concluded immediately, so that the intended tenants can put crops in for the coming season?


Considerable delay on the part of the Guardians and their officers took place after the Inquiry held by the Local Government Board's Inspector in May, 1894, and it was only at the end of the following December, after repeated communications to the Guardians in reference to the matter, that the Board were in a position to issue their Provisional Order confirming a scheme for the erection of 16 cottages. This Order became absolute on the 9th March last. The loan for the purposes of the scheme has been sanctioned by the Treasury, and it would appear from recent Minutes of the Guardians that the Board of Works Arbitrator has held his inquiry with a view to assessing the compensation payable for the lands, so that it is probable very little further delay will take place.