HC Deb 09 March 1896 vol 38 c450
MR. D. MACALEESE (Monaghan, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, has he received information to satisfy him that Owen M'Manus, an applicant for a labourer's cottage, in the Monaghan Union, whose representation was rejected on the ground that he was not a labourer within the meaning of the Act of Parliament, is really an agricultural labourer; and will he direct the Guardians of the Monaghan Union to entertain this man's claim?


The statements which have been furnished to me by the hon. Member go to prove that in some instances M'Manus has done agricultural labourer's work, though it appears to me that the Guardians are in a better position than I am of arriving at a determination whether he can be regarded as coming within the meaning of the words "agricultural labourer" as defined by the Labourers' Acts. I would further remind the hon. Member that the Guardians, in refusing his application, also stated that they did not consider there was any want of houses for bonâ fide labourers in the district. The Local Government Board do not consider the circumstances are such as to justify them in enforcing in this case the compulsory provisions of the Act of 1891, and moreover the expense of putting in force the machinery of the Acts for the purpose of providing a single cottage would be entirely out of proportion to the result.


As I happen to be a member of this Board of Guardians myself, will the right hon. Gentleman accept my assurance that the man is an agricultural labourer?


Of course I accept the hon. Member's assurance, but I am afraid I must be guided by the opinion of the majority of the Guardians in this matter.