HC Deb 30 March 1900 vol 81 cc813-4

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney General for Ireland whether he is aware that the average cost per inmate per week in Carrickmacross Workhouse for the past year was 3s. 9¼d., while in Monaghan the average cost per inmate was only 2s. 8d. per week; whether he is aware that the same Local Government Board inspector inspects both workhouses, and if he can state why such a disparity was allowed by this inspector in the dietary of these workhouses; whether he is aware that, if the treatment to the paupers of Monaghan Workhouse be correct, the ratepayers of Carrickmacross Union are losing £250 per annum owing to the high average cost in that workhouse; and whether he can state what course he intends to take to relieve the ratepayers of Carrickmacross Union of this high average cost when compared with Monaghan.


The figures are correctly stated in the first paragraph. The same inspector is in charge of the Unions of Carrickmacross and Monaghan. Differences in the average cost of maintenance in one workhouse as compared with another may obviously be due to several causes; for example, the relative consumption of stimulants, the terms upon which contracts for workhouse supplies have been accepted, the proportion of sick patients. These are not matters in which an inspector of the Local Government Board exercises any responsibility, nor has he power to enforce the adoption of a particular scale of dietary, though he may make recommendations in this last-mentioned respect for the consideration of the guardians. The fact that the cost of maintenance in Monaghan is relatively low does not necessarily prove that there is a waste of £250 a year in Carrickmacross Workhouse, as the question assumes. In reply to the concluding paragraph, the Local Government Board do not propose to interfere with the guardians in the matter.