§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
On behalf of the hon. Member for East Mayo, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that in the Knockaduff electoral division of Belmullet union, county Mayo, under the adjustment order of the Irish Local Government Board, a rate has been struck of £1 4s. in the £, which, under the provisions of the Irish Local Government Act, must be borne exclusively by the occupiers; is he aware that the rate so struck is made up of an accumulation of arrears extending over a number of years, and that more than two-thirds were the portion originally due by the landlords; and whether, having re- 653 gard to the fact that since this rate was struck a large amount of the arrears have been collected and credited to the union at large, instead of the division of Knockaduff, which is still liable for the entire rate, and in view of the poverty of the district, he will use his influence with the Local Government Board to grant the request of a memorial forwarded by the ratepayers of the Knockaduff electoral division, who are eighty-three in number, with rents varying from £2 to £4 per annum, to relieve the occupiers of a greater liability for the payment of this rate than that to which they were originally subject, and to permit of the payment of this reduced sum by instalments.
§ MR. G. W. BALFOUR
It is not a fact that a rate of £1 4s. in the £ has been struck in the electoral division mentioned. The rate amounts to 9s. 11d. in the £ on land and 12s. 3d. in the £ on other hereditaments; but it must be remembered that no rate was struck in the county Mayo for the second half of the last financial year owing to the state of the accounts of the county council, and the whole rate was carried forward into the current year's estimate, which accordingly covered a period of eighteen months, The current rate includes 5s. 10d. in the £ under the adjustment order of the Board for the clearing off of old liabilities due by the division, but this special rate will be confined to the present levy alone, and the next half-year's rate will therefore be 4s. 1d. on land and 6s. 5d. on other hereditaments, and this, as already pointed out, is one-half of an eighteen months rate. For years past insufficient rates were struck by the guardians for the division, and they failed to complete the collection of such rates; it was accordingly inevitable that a balancing up of the account would find the division heavily in debt. The Board have received the memorial referred to, and have informed the county council, in reference to a proposal made by them on the subject, that they will offer no objection to the amount collected before the appointed day being credited to the division. There is no power to comply with the suggestion that the rate, or portion of it, be paid by instalments.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these people 654 are under the impression that they are being taxed twice over for the same matter?