HC Deb 23 May 1898 vol 58 cc341-2
DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Cork Board of Guardians originally admitted those tenants of labourers cottages whom they recently sought to evict as agricultural labourers; that some of them have been in possession for several years, and were described as agricultural labourers in the agreements which they signed on getting possession; whether the guardians have now the right to declare them not to be agricultural labourers on the ground that they seek for other work when they are unable to procure agricultural work; whether the Local Government Board is the proper authority to decide on a legal basis whether a particular tenant has ceased to be an agricultural labourer within the meaning of the Labourers Acts; and whether it was when representations were made to them for the erection of additional houses that the guardians sought to declare that the tenants occupying some of the existing houses are not agricultural labourers?


The guardians originally accepted as tenants the persons referred to in the first paragraph. They have been in possession of the cottages for some years, and were probably described as "agricultural labourers" in the letting agreements. With regard to the second and third paragraphs, the duty of determining whether the tenants of, or applicants for, cottages are "agricultural labourers" within the meaning of the Labourers Acts devolves upon the sanitary authority and not upon the Local Government Board. With respect to the fourth paragraph, I must refer to my answer to the honourable Member's previous Question of the 2nd instant on this subject.