§ MR. B. COLLERY (Sligo, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether, in view of the facts that harmless lunatics in workhouses are at present maintained at the expense of the ratepayers, the Government will see their way to extend to Poor Law Unions in Ireland the Capitation Grant of 4s. per head per week, as at present paid the Governors of lunatic asylums; and, whether he is aware that there is a large increase in the number of these harmless lunatics in some Unions in Ireland, and thereby a large expenditure put on the rates of those Unions which was not originally contemplated?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
This subject is engaging the consideration of the Government in connection with a Bill which they have in contemplation for facilitating amalgamation of Workhouses and for making better provision for certain classes of the destitute poor in Ireland. I may point out, however, that the average weekly cost of inmates in Irish Workhouses is 3s. 3¾d. per head. There has been a slight increase in the total number of lunatics in some Workhouses and a decrease in others compared with the previous year, the total increase on the 31st December last being 34.