§ MR. DALY (Monaghan, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can give the population of Ireland approximately when the workhouses were built there, and the population at the time of taking the last census; and whether, 376 seeing that the population of Ireland has largely decreased since the workhouses were built, he will introduce into the Local Government (Ireland) Bill a clause giving powers to county councils to amalgamate workhouses where they consider necessary?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The workhouses in Ireland were built between the years 1838 and 1851. The population of Ireland, as given in the Census Returns for the years 1831, 1841, and 1851 was 7,767,401, 8,175,124, and 6,551,970 respectively. The population of Ireland at the last census (1891) was 4,704,750. I am not prepared to introduce a clause such as suggested in the Question, but I may remind the honourable Member that clause 50, sub-section 2, of the Local Government Bill provides that the Local Government Board, on the application of a county council, and after communication with the guardians concerned, may amalgamate unions for the purpose of placing a workhouse at the disposal of the council for an auxiliary lunatic asylum.