§ MR. MICHAEL AUSTIN (Limerick, W.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether the arbitrator under the Board of Works has furnished a bill of costs amounting to £312 19s. 6d. in connection with the creation of a scheme of labourers' cottages in the Kilmallock Union; (2) whether any regulation exists by which excessive charges can be reduced or the arbitrator's costs taxed; (3) whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the matter; and (4) whether provision will be made under the Local Government Bill to prevent excessive charges in connection with arbitrator's fees in the erection of labourers' cottages?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I believe the fact is as stated in the first paragraph. In the particular case referred to the arbitrator was appointed prior to the Act of 1896, which transferred such appointments to the Local Government Board, and I am not aware that any necessity has been shown for making special provision in the Local Government Bill in the direction suggested in the question. The Board of Guardians have made objections to several of the items included in the present claim, and the Commissioners of Public Works are in communication with the Guardians on the subject.