§ MR. JASPER TULLY (Leitrim, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) whether he is aware that the Local Government Board have refused the application of the Boyle Town Commissioners for a loan for electric lighting purposes on the ground that they are not also an urban sanitary authority; and (2) whether, in view of the fact that there are a number of townships in Ireland similarly situated to Boyle, where there is no system of public lighting, and where the Town Commissioners are not the sanitary authority, owing to the expense of a Provisional Order and incidence of the rating, he will be prepared to introduce into the Housing of Working Classes (Ireland) Bill now before the House a non-contentious clause giving such Town Commissioners borrowing powers for public lighting purposes?
§ * MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The Boyle Town Commissioners applied to the Local Government Board for permission to contract a loan for lighting the township by electricity, and were informed that, not being a sanitary authority, the Commissioners had no power to borrow money for the purpose under the Electric Lighting Act of 1882. The power to supply electricity for lighting purposes is confined in Ireland, by the Act of 1882, to urban and rural sanitary authorities, who must first obtain a licence or Provisional Order from 440 the Board of Trade; and as the Boyle Town Commissioners have no power to supply electricity under that Act, they could not borrow money for that object. As regards the second paragraph, Town Commissioners, such as those of Boyle, who are not sanitary authorities, already possess the power to light their towns, and may borrow money for that purpose under Section 4 of the Public Health (Ireland) Amendment Act, 1884, but such power would not include the supply of electricity, having regard to the provisions of the Act of 1882. I am considering, however, in connection with the Public Health Bill now before the House, the question of empowering Town Commissioners to borrow money for the supply of electric light.