§ DR. C. K. D. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) if his attention has been called to the statement made by the Millstreet Board of Guardians to the effect that poor rate in that union for the financial standard year was only 1s. 5½d. in the pound; (2) is he aware that the rate was much below the normal rate in the union, owing to a large sum being in hand from the preceding year; and that, as was subsequently shown, the actual expenditure amounted to 3s. in the pound; and (3) will the Government, adhere to the basis of the standard financial year in the Local Government Bill, or see their way to adopt the principle of paying half the actual rates in regard to unions so situated?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I am informed that the fact is as stated in the first paragraph. A balance from the preceding year was carried forward to 1896–7, and though I have not been able, in the short time since the Question was placed on the Paper, to make full inquiry into the matter, it appears to me that any deficit in the rate must have been largely provided for in the Millstreet Union, as elsewhere, by the usual Parliamentary grants in aid for medical and other purposes. I am making further inquiry into the case of this particular union, but under no circumstances can I hold out any hope that the proposal to pay half the rate in each current year will be adopted.
§ DR. TANNER
Perhaps, as the matter is somewhat urgent, the right hon. 207 Gentleman will send me the result in writing of the further inquiry, so that I may pass it on to my constituents.