§ 1. "That a sum, not exceeding £40,182, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1902, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Local Government Board in Ireland."
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
said he understood there was a general agreement that the first Order should be postponed and other Reports of Supply dealt with. He would move accordingly.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
Is the motion to adjourn the first Report of the 8th August until the second Order has been disposed of? That is what I understood.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Probably it is my fault, but I do not perfectly apprehend what the hon. Gentleman wants.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
As I have stated to the House, I propose to take the Votes in Classes 1 and 2 in their natural order.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
If the House wishes to proceed with the second Report, that can be done by agreeing with the first Report.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I am afraid that it would be impossible to agree to all the items accepted yesterday.
§ Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ MR. DALY (Monaghan, S.)
said it seemed a scandal that the county councils, which supplied the money for the upkeep of the court houses in Ireland should not have a word to say in regard to their management. In the county of Armagh Lord Clanricarde was a candidate for the county council, and was defeated, but he managed to be elected high sheriff, and with his defeat at a popular election rankling in his mind he did his best to cause inconvenience to the county council during his year's tenure of office. He hoped that some arrangement would be come to by which the friction existing at present would be avoided. The county councils wore just as anxious as the high sheriffs to accommodate the judges who came on assize. He complained that when the Local Government Act was passed, in 1898, the standard year selected was 1896, in which the smallest poor rate and county cess had been struck for the previous ten years. It was suggested that hon. members who came from Ireland talked rubbish, that their opinions were not to be considered, that the 313 right hon. Gentleman had to take all his instructions from the Castle. The right hon. Gentleman was in this House for six months in the year, and it was not to be expected that he would understand all the difficult questions with regard to the management of Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman was doing his best, but he had to receive from his officials in Dublin their reports, and inasmuch as those officials had generally been indicted in this House it was not surprising that in their reports they should endeavour to put the best face upon these matters. He thought with regard to the matter of court houses there might be some give and take, and that the right hon. Gentleman might be able to find some way by which the wretched feud which was going on at the present time between the high sheriffs and the county councils should be brought to an end. The county councils and the district councils of Ireland were doing their business splendidly—a fact which spoke to the good character of the men who composed them, having regard to the fact that they had never occupied such a position before—but they had not been encouraged in their work by the Local Government Board.
It was really an extraordinary thing that the Local Government Board, who could know nothing of the wants of any district, except through information supplied from the reports of county surveyors, invariably threw over the recommendations of the local bodies of those districts. In the case of the county council of Tyrone, which was a Unionist county council, that county council considered 25 per cent. was a sufficient increase in the salary of the county surveyor, but their action had not in any way been supported by the Local Government Board. From the moment that the Local Government Act was pissed, the milk of human kindness began to flow in the breast of the Local Government Board, with a corresponding enormous increase in the rates. There had to be assistant nurses in the workhouses, and holidays given to the doctors, and everything that could be thought of in order to increase the rates upon the people. What was the reason? Simply that the increase in the rates should 314 be such that the people would say, "We have now local government and our own people at the head of affairs, but the rates were far less heavy when we had the old Tories over us." That was the idea of the Local Government Board. None of these things were ever thought of when the gentry and the landlords ruled these matters, and paid their share, but directly these popular bodies came into existence the Local Government Board at once found it necessary to employ assistant trained nurses and improve the dietary of the unions. It was all very well to say that the cost was two-fifths of a penny increase for the salaries, but what was the cost of the dietary? The cost of dietary in the workhouses under the old rule was 3s. 10d., but since the local bodies had come into being, through the instrumentality of the Local Government Board it had risen to 5s., so that, although the increase in the salaries of the officers was only two-fifths of a penny, in regard to the dietary it was 25or30per cent.
It was not only the increase of salaries which made the increase of rates, but the general conduct of the Local Government Board in interfering in every department with the management of the public bodies in Ireland. The action of the Local Government Board was to endeavour to make local government in Ireland as difficult as possible. In the debate of the previous evening it had been stated that the dispensary doctors were not independent enough or quick enough in reporting upon insanitary areas. There was no foundation fo such a statement, because it had been conclusively proved that the delay in these matters occurred after they had passed the local guardians. It was the Local Government Board inspectors who were entirely responsible for this delay; there was not the slightest reason for saving that the medical officer neglected his duty, because it had been conclusively proved that the delay took place after his report was made. The delay in deciding whether labourers' cottages should be erected in a certain locality was certainly not the result of the action of the medical officers.
With regard to the suggestion made by the right hon. Gentleman that the 315 county councils should come together, and come to an easier working arrangement, ho would certainly, as soon as he got back to Ireland, see what could be done in that regard. He would see if it were not possible to make the books easier, and submit to the Local Government Board a scheme for an easier form of making out the accounts, which would not be antagonistic to the Local Government Board, but would be submitted merely for the purpose of making the Act work more smoothly, and simplifying a great many matters where friction occurred at times between the Local Government Board and county councils. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the local bodies had been dilatory in coming to arrangements, but he pointed out that after the Local Government Act was passed the county councils were called together three times a week to consider the most trifling and frivolous questions raised by the Local Government Board. He trusted the right hon. Gentleman, considering the views of hon. members in connection with these matters, would give them his attention. With regard to the labourers' cottages, the less delay and expense there was in erecting labourers' cottages the better for the labourers and the rates, and if the Local Government Board could see their way to get these schemes through it would enable the labourers to have cheap and sanitary houses. With regard to appeals which had been lodged against any scheme for the erection of cottages, he had never known a case where the costs had been given against the appellant; but they were always against the rates, and he contended that if, when appeals were lost, the appellant had to pay the costs, it would go a long way to prevent many frivolous appeals being brought. He also was of opinion that if county council officials were made the tribunals before whom these arbitrations were brought, instead of the Local Government Board inspectors, a great deal of the present delay would disappear, and the result would be beneficial to all concerned.
§ MR. MACARTNEY
congratulated the right hon. Gentleman upon the policy he had inaugurated with regard to improved nursing and dietary in the work- 316 houses of Ireland. There was no doubt that in many places in Ireland too scant a regard had been paid by the guardians to the paupers under their care, and he was surprised to hear the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down use his position in this House to turn the right hon. Gentleman from the course which he had adopted.
§ MR. MACARTNEY
said it was more than twenty years since the landlords of Ireland exercised any control over these matters, but he accepted the explanation of the hon. Gentleman, and withdrew the charge he had made against him, that he advocated a less generous treatment of the poor so far as professional skilled nursing was concerned. The right hon. Gentleman had met, he believed, a grievance which existed in the administration of the poor law system by the most reasonable means, and all classes in Ireland had given their support to its being properly carried out, not only with regard to nursing but in the general administration of the poor law, and if it was not properly carried out there would be reason for much regret.
The matter he desired to call attention to had been much dwelt upon in the discussion on the previous evening—the administration of the Labourers Acts. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the delays which had occurred had not been the result of the action of the Local Government Board. He was afraid that that was not so. He quite agreed that representations coming from the country required most careful scrutiny, and the amount of objection made to any particular representation entailed a great deal of correspondence and occupied a great deal of time at the central office, but he did not refer to districts from which representations had been sent embracing a large number of cottages. He referred to cases where the number of cottages rarely exceeded six. There was 317 a case in the area of the Antrim District Council where the representation was made in 1900; the Local Government Board inspector looked into the matter in January, 1901, and it was not until July this year that hon. Gentlemen were able to see the Report made six months after the holding of the inquiry. He could not understand why such a delay should have occurred in a case; where not more than six houses were required. That was one instance of several cases of delay to which his attention had been called, and he invited his right hon. friend to say whether he would look into those matters in the recess, and see for himself whether there had or had not been rather longer time occupied by the Local Government Board inspectors in making out their reports and the authorities in Dublin coming to a decision upon those reports. It had the effect of making the people of Ireland distrust the legislation which this House provided for the benefit of the labourer, and also of raising a hostile feeling in certain classes of the population which he did not think was to the benefit of Ireland, and which should not be allowed to continue. He thought that some of the boards of guardians had been distinctly short-sighted in the way in which they had dealt with these representations, which, however, had been extremely moderate in their character. After all, it was only in order that the labourers should be kept upon the farms, and it was obvious that if a labourer in the country was not well housed he would go to the towns, where he could be better housed and get better wages. It was in the interest of the ratepayers and the farmers themselves that where representations were moderate and where there was reasonable ground they should deal with those representations in a generous and just manner He desired also to call attention to the action of the Balmeny District Council which it appeared to him could not be justified under the Act, although no doubt their only desire was to economise This year there was a representation made to the district council which they declined to entertain, and the person making the representation appealed to the Local Government Board and asked them to inquire into the conduct of the board of guardians. The only reply to that 318 appeal was a reply acknowledging the letter and enclosing a minute stating that it was not thought desirable to build one house in a certain locality, and that the consideration of the representation had been deferred until other representations were made. The point he desired to make was that the representation was based on one of three grounds; either that the existing house accommodation was insufficient, or that the house was unsafe, or that it was unfit for human habitation through being in a bad state of repair. Boards of guardians were not entitled, even from motives of economy, to hang up indefinitely representations of this character. It was contrary to the whole spirit of the Act. Nor was the action of the Local Government Board in the matter at all satisfactory. The man was told he had a right of appeal, but all the satisfaction he obtained from the Local Government Board was a blue printed form telling that which he already knew, namely, the decision of the board of guardians. To the labourers in the district it would appear that the benefits Parliament had designed in their interests were by the action of the boards of guardians and the Local Government Board rendered absolutely nugatory.
Another point to which the Chief Secretary might direct his attention was the number of printed forms which had to be filled up by the district councils in connection with these Acts. Many of the forms were really unnecessary, and if they were abolished some economy—he did not say it would amount to very much—would be effected. In connection with this question of labourers' cottages, he was glad to say that district councils were beginning to move with a certain amount of reasonable rapidity, but he hoped the Chief Secretary would look into the case to which he had referred, because unless a district council was able to satisfy the Local Government Board that it had reason to anticipate additional representations in the immediate future, and even the representation of a single man, if well founded, should be dealt with by the Local Government Board and the guardians.
SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
expressed his pleasure that the 319 Irish members were taking such a keen interest in all the details of local government. They were bringing all their grievances forward for discussion in the House of Commons in order that they might obtain a fuller and more complete control over their own affairs. The people of Ireland were in a very different position from the inhabitants of England in this matter. In England the Local Government Board, which controlled the county councils and other local bodies, had direct representation in the House of Commons in the persons of two Ministers responsible for the administration of that particular Department. In regard to Ireland, however, there was only one Minister responsible for the whole of the government of that country, and who, consequently, could not have that intimate detailed knowledge of local government possessed by the President of the Local Government Board in England.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM, Dover)
I am President of the Local Government Board in Ireland.
SIR WALTER FOSTER
pointed out that the President of the Irish Local Government Board was also Chief Secretary, and responsible for all departments, whereas the President of the English Board was responsible only for that one department. The consequence was that in Ireland the greater part of the central control had to be left to permanent officials. Such a system was bound to break down, not because the permanent officials were not competent, but because, as local authorities developed, it could not be expected that large representative bodies would submit to have their decision over-ruled and controlled by permanent paid officials at Dublin Castle. The men had not yet been created who, as permanent officials, could, with success, rule large representative bodies. Sooner or later such a system must produce friction. These bodies would resent, and, he thought, properly resent, such control. It was not possible for a system of local government, based on the broadest representation, as was the case in Ireland, to continue to be controlled by a small body of permanent officials. Up to the present those permanent 320 officials had, he thought, done their work very well, but in doing that work they were bound to have recourse to the almost innumerable forms of which complaint had been made. Printed forms were necessary to lessen correspondence. Unless some means were devised by which some central and representative body in Ireland was given control over the local bodies which had been created, the time of the House would be more and more occupied with the details of Irish self-government. All through the session question after question had been asked with regard to details which, apparently trivial in themselves, were of great interest to the localities affected, and those questions wore bound to go on increasing as the people of Ireland took more interest in local government. By the Act of 1898 an enormous burden of work had been created for the House of Commons, which, sooner or later, must inevitably lead to some change in the system, and to an extension of representative control over local affairs in Ireland, which, he believed, was the only key to successful management of local government. If all these details were to be repeated session after session the House of Commons was bound to break down under the burden, and some system of devolution would have to be found by which questions could be settled in the country in which they arose. The local government system tended to bring that about, and at the same time it was developing men capable of carrying on the local government of Ireland. One of the great merits of county councils was that they were training a body of men in local government to take a higher and wider sphere. He believed that sooner or later it would dawn on the minds even of those who were most opposed to what used to be called Home Rude that the best system that could be devised was to extend the principle of devolution, and give to the Irish people a larger control than they now possessed over their own local affairs.
§ MR. MURNAGHAN (Tyrone, Mid)
thought the county council of Tyrone had reason to complain of the system of the Local Government Board in fixing the salaries of officials. Three months 321 after the county council took office the question of salaries was considered, and it was decided to increase the salaries of the assistant surveyors by 25 per cent., from £80 to £100. The next month a communication was received from the Local Government Board sanctioning the increased salaries, without the slightest suggestion being made that the sums were too small. Things went on for about a year, and the Local Government Board then came to the conclusion that they would arrange a scale of salaries for assistant surveyors for the whole country, the amount ranging from £120 to £150 or £160. It was not until that scale was formulated that the county council of Tyrone had any intimation that the assistant surveyors refused to accept the amount fixed the year before. The Local Government Board made a mistake in sanctioning the salaries in the first place without ascertaining whether they were the result of an arrangement agreed to by both parties; but, having sanctioned them, they should not have gone back on their decision. The whole tendency of the central body was to create friction between the officials and the local bodies. The Board set themselves up as the friends of the officers, and naturally the officers looked to the central body for assistance, and did not exhibit proper respect for the bodies by whom they were appointed and paid. The county council endeavoured to do the thing fairly, having regard both to the interests of the ratepayers and to the increase of the work. But even now the assistant surveyors had time to act as private engineers or architects, and they had actually put out their signs asking for private practice. Why should these men, who were paid good salaries, interfere with the legitimate work of gentlemen in private practice? He also hoped the Chief Secretary would give full consideration to the resolution of the county council in respect to half-yearly instead of quarterly meetings, before deciding the claims of assistant surveyors for further increases. The effect of having half-yearly meetings would be to put things as they were before the passing of the Act, and would take away from the assistant surveyors any claim for increases at all. He was pleased to see the interest taken in these matters by the Unionist representatives, 322 but Ulster members need not put forward the statement that dispensary doctors were indifferent on the question of labourers' cottages because they feared to incur the displeasure of members of the district council. Ratepayers in Antrim would not be liable to any increase of rate on account of labourers' cottages being built for the next twenty or fifty years, because there was a surplus to the credit of that county sufficient to build at least 200 cottages free of all cost to the ratepayers. The same might be said of any county in Ulster. With regard to additional inspectors, the great curse of Ireland was "over-officialism." The country was bled to death by officials, who sucked up everything that was good, leaving only the bad. If the Chief Secretary did anything at all, it would be well if he deported the inspectors from Ireland altogether. The officials found fault simply to justify their existence. As an illustration the hon. Member instanced the case of the Omagh Board of Guardians, in connection with which the relieving officer was surcharged 8s. in respect of outdoor relief, because the chairman of the board had not initialled the grant. Many other instances of the manner in which the inspectors did their work might be given. He himself offered to the Omagh board a site for six cottages, as there was a difficulty in securing convenient land, but the Local Government Board inspector actually refused the site without ever going on the land. Surely the Chief Secretary did not think that was a proper way in which to adminster the Act? He regretted having taken up so much time, but, as these matters came under his own observation, he thought he was only doing his duty in bringing them forward.
§ *DR. THOMPSON (Monaghan, N.)
said one or two matters of importance had arisen during the debate which he desired to bring before the House. One of them was the nursing question. He quite agreed with what had been said on this question by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ilkeston, that it was a subject of the greatest importance. He thought that the nursing order of the Local Government Board had done a great deal of damage to some of the smaller hospitals which, before it was issued, were engaged 323 in training nurses. There was one small hospital in the north of Ireland with which he was connected which had been engaged in training nurses for the last twenty years; he referred to the Tyrone Hospital. The Local Government Board had recently brought forward a rule which disqualified this hospital for the training of nurses because it had not got a resident medical superintendent, two visiting medical officers, a qualified lady superintendent, did not possess 140 beds, and was not recognised clinical hospital. Nurses had been trained at this hospital very efficiently, and they had afterwards gone to take up good positions in America, Scotland, England, and various parts of Ireland. Nurses had been trained at this hospital and sent to the workhouse hospitals a|l over the north of Ireland as temporary nurses at a high weekly wage, and yet, forsooth, because this institution did not exactly comply with the Local Government Board regulations in some details, any of the nurses who had been trained at this hospital were disqualified from making applications for positions as head nurses in Irish district hospitals. The Tyrone County Hospital was chiefly used for training the daughters of farmers as nurses, and this enabled them to get large salaries, out of which they sent considerable sums of money to their parents and friends, and the result of this order had been to prevent this training being continued.
It was well known that nurses could be trained more effectively in small hospitals than in large ones. In small hospitals like the Tyrone hospital the nurses had to do work which was done by the students in the large hospitals. And yet the Local Government Board laid down rules which prevented these thoroughly trained nurses taking up appointments in the hospitals in their own country as superintendent nurses of Irish workhouse hospitals; in other words these nurses were considered good enough to nurse the better class of patients in Irish county infirmaries, and in the homes of private families, yet were not sufficiently trained to nurse the paupers in a district hospital. No more absurd position was ever taken up by a responsible governing authority, 324 and it should not be tolerated by the Chief Secretary, and I am sure will not be when he inquires into the facts brought under his notice in this important debate. He did not deny that the Local Government Board was composed of very able men, but he thought there ought to be some elective element upon that Board, and pending the only true solution of the trouble of governing Ireland, which was Home Rule, there ought to be no difficulty in carrying out the suggestion that the various councils in Ireland should be allowed to elect one representative to the Local Government Board. He hoped that the Chief Secretary would give this nursing question his careful consideration. The new regulations would have serious consequences upon the young women of Ireland who wished to fill in their own county the very important position of superintendent nurses in district hospitals unless it was speedily altered.
Then there was another important question, namely, that of introducing into Irish workhouses Irish nuns. He was a Protestant himself, but he should be only too glad in case of necessity to be nursed by a nun. The nuns, if not trained nurses in the strict sense of the word, would quickly become so, and would change the atmosphere of these institutions, at least in the north of Ireland, from veritable hells into a comparative paradise. One other matter which he desired to call attention to was the disgraceful condition of some of the smaller workhouse hospitals. He did not desire to exaggerate, but he had no hesitation in saying that some of their Irish workhouses would be a disgrace to any civilised country. In one workhouse he was acquainted with there were only straw beds, with straw pillows, and there was not one properly trained nurse to look after a number of helpless people. In this workhouse they still had the old tressle beds, which were used at the time of the famine, and the staff was so small that the food had to be served to the inmates by the workhouse master. Every time he went into one of these workhouses he felt nothing but shame that the central authority in Dublin, which was supposed to look after the comfort of those poor people, so shamefully neglected 325 to enforce their authority on the district councils and board of guardians.
There were a great many other matters which concerned the well-being of the poorer classes which he would have liked to have drawn attention to, but the few examples he had given would, he hoped, receive attention, more especially the nursing question and the question of looking after the helpless poor in the workhouses, and insisting that they should be provided with proper beds and attendance. Since he had been in the House of Commons he had observed the great interest which the Chief Secretary had taken in all matters affecting Ireland, and he felt sure that the right hon. Gentleman had a great sympathy for Ireland, and was most anxious that everything that could be done should be done to remove her grievances.
§ MR. JORDAN (Fermanagh, S.)
said he wished to say a few words, in which he would express the views of local authorities in the county of Fermanagh. He represented one of the divisions of that county, and in what he was going to say he was not simply voicing the opinions of Nationalists. The local governing bodies of Fermanagh agreed that it was the greatest possible pity in the world that the Local Government Board was not an elective or partially elective and popular Board. They required a Board of that sort in the country, and, so far as they were concerned, they had no objection whatever to the Local Government Board merely as a local governing body. What they did say was that the present Board was not in sympathy with the local authorities or with the people of Ireland, and their idea was that the Local Government Board, in dealing with the local bodies, was arbitrary in its tone and too commanding. The Board was very persistent in its demands, and what they decided the local bodies were compelled to carry out. In certain cases this Board had been most unreasonable, and there ought to be more give and take and more consultation between the county and other authorities all over the country and the Local Government Board in order to avoid friction. If more consultations took place he was sure the Local Government Board would get on much better. In the county of Fer- 326 managh they used to pay their assistant county surveyor £80 a year, but when the Local Government Act came into operation they raised this salary from £80 to £100 a year. The assistant surveyors would not take this salary, and they appealed to the Local Government Board, and without an inquiry of any kind, and without even hearing the views of Fermanagh County Council, the Local Government Board fixed the salaries at £120 a year.
He was glad to hear the Chief Secretary state that it was possible in the future to introduce some economy in the bookkeeping. He thought there should also be more economy practised in regard to advertisements and printing. The advertisements might be shortened and curtailed with advantage, and the amount of printing might very well be reduced. In the county of Fermanagh the printing used to cost about £500, but for the first year under the Local Government Act it had increased to £2,000. They had determined to do the very best they could under the new Act for the better government of the counties of Ireland, and he thought the Local Government Board ought to assist them in their efforts to carry on local government with as much economy as possible. He did not know where the workhouses existed which were in the state complained of by the hon. Member for North Monaghan. In the county of Fermanagh they had improved the condition of the workhouses without any pressure from the Local Government Board, and he thought he had a right to protest against the statement made by the hon. Member, which was a great reflection on the boards of guardians. It was all very well for medical men to talk about the nursing question in the way they did, but in his opinion the Local Government Board were pressing home this question of the nurses too much. He did not think it took such a high professional qualification to make a nurse. The standard for nurses had been placed so high by the Local Government Board that in Fermanagh it took them months to get a fully-qualified nurse at the salary which they offered. They advertised in vain for a nurse at £40 and £50 per annum, and at last they were obliged to pay £60 a year with good rations and 327 apartments, and a lady's maid to attend upon her, before they could got a nurse possessing the qualifications required by the Local Government Board.
They only paid their medical officer £100 per annum, and yet they were compelled by the Local Government Board to pay almost as much for a fully-qualified nurse. They had nurses in the workhouses at much lower salaries who were much better nurses for their purposes than the highly-qualified nurses insisted upon by the regulations of the Local Government Board. The local authorities had no objection to improvement, but the Local Government Board was insisting upon such high salaries for official nurses and others and increasing so greatly the expense of advertising and printing that it entailed the most extravagant cost to the ratepayers. Although the number of paupers in Ireland was decreasing the expense was increasing, and the Local Government Board were insisting upon them employing nurses when there was very little for them to do. In dealing with the question of the labourers' cottages he said that as a matter of policy, not only on the part of the farmer, but on the part of the State, the labourers ought to be well housed. He had always been in favour of the Labourers Act. He thought the Local Government Board ought to be ready to accept hints which were practical in relation to economy from the various county councils and boards of guardians, instead of adopting the arbitrary tone which they sometimes assumed without consulting the local body. Occasionally inspectors recommended things which it was impossible to carry out, and they had no right to suggest things without indicating how they could be accomplished. They had far too much interfering from the Local Government Board and too little assistance.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
My reason for replying to the criticisms which have been made up to this stage is that the debate has mainly centred round the same subjects as those raised yesterday—nurses, the proper provision of labourers' cottages, the increase of salaries of existing officers, and the possibility of introducing some simplification of local government in Ireland, the economies 328 in printing and book-keeping, and the cost of inspection. But there is not an entire unanimity of opinion on the part of hon. members on these subjects, and therefore it is needful to discount something from the criticisms which have been urged. The Board in Ireland has a difficult duty to discharge. Any central body charged with administering such Acts, and in seeing that the local bodies do not transgress the bounds of liberty given to them, is always open to great deal of criticism. Take, for example, the question of the nurses. I claim that, on the whole, the great body of opinion in the House has been in favour of the Local Government Board seeing that the pauper inmates in Irish workhouses are properly treated. We are all agreed that the standard of attention paid to the sick is not as yet what we all wish to see it. From mistaken motives of economy, or from ignorance of the advance which has been made in the science of nursing, many popularly-elected bodies believe they are doing all that their duty demands, whereas they are really not doing that at all. That being so, I propose to go forward under this general order, but not drastically or arrogantly.
Every local body is given an opportunity of considering the merits of what is urged, not only by the Local Government Board, but by the general consensus of opinion in this House. If they do not, however, fall in with that view, then it is the duty of the Local Government Board to intervene for the protection of the inmates committed to their charge. The hon. Member for South Monaghan has stated that this is a newborn zeal on the part of the Local Government Board, but that is not quite the case. There have been long controversies before on this very subject between the Local Government Board and some of the local boards of guardians in Ireland. This question has been the subject of voluminous correspondence for years, as far back as the year 1892, and even earlier. The hon. Member for North Monaghan pleaded for the usefulness of nuns in poorhouses and hospitals. I readily acknowledge the usefulness, but I do not think hon. members from Ireland are entitled to say for all Irish opinion that the nuns of Ireland should 329 be asked to perform all the duties which are incumbent on a sick nurse. I would remind hon. members that a letter issued in October, 1895, explicitly lays down that it is not right for nuns to assist in certain kinds of operations, and they are forbidden by the rules of their orders from doing this. I think the House will agree that the Local Government Board has acted with tact and discretion in this matter, and since nuns are not allowed to render all the services required in nursing, it is clear that there must be other qualified nurses introduced in those unions. With regard to the subject of the training of nurses, and the qualifications insisted upon by the Local Government Board, I think that the opinions expressed by the hon. Member for North Monaghan are entitled to very great weight upon this subject, and I shall certainly make a note of what he has suggested. I was not aware that the subject was going to be brought forward, and perhaps I have not brushed up upon this point as much as I should have done if I had received longer notice. The hon. Member for North Monaghan spoke of the exclusion of certain hospitals by reason of the order of the Local Government Board in reference to the qualification of trained nurses, but from my recollection of the order I should think that the hospitals mentioned by the hon. Member would not be excluded.
§ DR. THOMPSON
said he could assure the hon. Gentleman that a number of the hospitals had not been recognised, and were excluded from the benefit of trained nurses.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I take notice what the hon. Gentleman says, but it does not traverse what I have stated. The general Order of the Local Government Board issued in July did not preclude the Board from reserving to themselves discretion. I can say that our hands are free. The Order states, "Anyone who has received not less than two years training in a general clinical or other hospitals authorised by us." We are therefore at liberty to recognise any hospital, and we are not going to tie up our hands or limit our discretion. However, I shall carefully consider the 330 view which has been urged by the hon. Gentleman. I do not think I need say any more on the subject of nurses.
I come now to the question of providing cottages for agricultural labourers under the Act. I dealt with that matter fully yesterday afternoon, but the hon. Member for Antrim did bring to my notice a specific case in which a mistake seems to have been made by the Local Government Board and not by the local authority. I undertake to give my personal consideration to that subject directly I get back to Ireland. I am disposed to agree that the Local Government Board should not accept a decision of the local bodies against which an appeal had been lodged; but I guard myself by saying that in some parts of Ireland, as at present advised, the local authorities put forward an excessive number of claims. I think the Local Government Board would be wanting in duty, however disagreeable or unpopular it may be, if they allowed the newly elected bodies to impose too heavy burdens on the rates, especially in the rural districts, in the first years of their administration, and if they did not bring home to these bodies the great danger of over-burdening the rates in this matter. As time goes on these local authorities will have more and more responsibility thrown upon them, and if they swell the rates, that would be a matter for the electors; but in the early years of the local government by popularly elected bodies the Local Government Board has the duty of bringing home to the local authorities that heavy burdens fall upon the rates from the loss arising from excessive schemes for cottage buildings. Generally I agree that it is the interest of the farmers to see that the labourers are properly housed. In England we have the great economic difficulty in regard to the labourers herding into the towns, but Ireland is mostly free from that; and I certainly should consider whether an extension of the Labourers Cottages Acts can be carried so as to include the other classes referred to.
Many hon. members have inveighed against the Local Government Board far increasing the salaries of the local officials. It was said that some local bodies had offered £100 salary to the deputy surveyors instead of £80, but as 331 no protest had been made, and both parties were agreed, the Local Government Board had no wish to interfere. But the Local Government Board, where there was no agreement, were bound by statue to determine whether there had been an increase of work, and if so, to increase the emoluments accordingly. Most of the speakers said that that had been done in excess. The fact that the Local Government Board unwittingly broke the law in a technical manner does not excuse them from attempting to obey the law, now that it has been defined by the highest courts in Ireland, and the Local Government Board will go on doing their best to obey the law, and take a fair view of the merits of these cases. That brings me to the possibility of simplifying and cheapening the local government in Ireland. If we can bring that about, then the discussion with reference to the increase of duties and salaries of local officers would be only academic. The hon. Member for Mid Tyrone said that the salaries had all been raised, but if the duties were decreased then there would be a decrease in the salaries. There certainly would be no obligation to pay for work not obliged to be done, and so economy might be effected in that way. I think myself that the best chance of arriving at a solution of the matter is to make an attempt at the simplification of the work of local government in Ireland, and effecting some economy in administration. The Act has been in force for three years. Many suggestions have been made to the Board, and of course some ideas have occurred to the members of the Board themselves, which will all tell in the direction of simplification and economy. The hon. Baronet who introduced the subject yesterday made a suggestion that it would be a mistake for the Local Government Board to set out by itself on an inquiry as to how simplification can be best achieved, and that it would be prudent for the Local Government Board to invite co-operation of those who are administering the Act. With that suggestion I quite agree. I will be glad if the hon. Baronet and other chairmen of county councils would give the Local Government Board suggestions as to economies which may be adopted, and on 332 the part of the Local Government Board we shall be glad to nominate some member of the Board to collaborate with them. I believe it would be also wise to invite some of those officials in England who have had experience in book-keeping in some of the largest county councils to come and see if they can teach us in Ireland anything which we do not at present know in that respect, and how the accounts may be simplified. I do not wish to raise any hopes which may be doomed to disappointment, and therefore I feel bound to remind hon. members that these matters are more complicated in Ireland than in England. It is not easy to see how to get rid of many of the columns in the returns, owing to the fact that there are county guarantees for railways and other matters which introduce complication; but it is possible that we may hit upon some plan of dealing with all the different charges and assessments in different areas. Greater simplicity and economy in dealing with all these various matters is an object which ought to be pursued by all those who are interested in the proper and efficient management of local affairs in Ireland.
§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE (Wexford, N.)
said that the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary had met this question in a spirit far different from that to which the representatives from Ireland had hitherto been accustomed. He welcomed the promised inquiry into the administration of the Local Government Board, and he would be glad to give every assistance in his power towards arriving at some decision which would be satisfactory all round. He approved f the reduction of the inspection of roads from four to two in the quarter, but he wanted the Local Government Board to convey the reasons which led them to increase the salaries of the local officials. He made this suggestion in the interests of peace. As to the nurses, he was afraid that the Chief Secretary had misunderstood the purpose of his remarks the previous day. He did not object to the proper treatment of the inmates of the workhouse infirmaries. On the contrary, he was most solicitous for their welfare; and in his own country they had expended an enormous sum of money in remodelling the arrangements for the 333 sick poor. In his opinion the Local Government Board should not treat the unions which had done their duty in the same way as those which had neglected their duty, and therefore he was glad that the Order was to be administered in a reasonable spirit.
§ MR. REDDY (King's County, Birr)
complained of the manner in which the Local Government Board inspectors treated local bodies. He criticised the conduct of Major Fair, whom he charged with partiality in favour of the landlord interests in respect of labourers' cottages. He suggested that an entirely new set of inspectors should be appointed.
§ MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)
said he did not wish to prolong the discussion on this subject, although it was one in which the Irish members were very deeply interested. Speaking for himself, he appreciated the tone of the right hon. the Chief Secretary's remarks, and he only wished that that right hon. Gentleman would be able to instil some of the tolerance which he had displayed into the minds of the permanent officials of the Local Government Board. They all recognised that that Board had not the confidence of the Irish people. The right hon. Gentleman said that the Board, of which he was president, hoped to work out reforms in a reasonable spirit, and in no spirit of arrogance. He was glad to hear these remarks from the right hon. Gentleman, because the Local Government Board had been a thorn in the side of the people of Ireland in connection with the manner in which they had conducted the administration of the poor law and the Grand Jury system. He thought the right hon. Gentleman, candidly reviewing the manner in which the local bodies had conducted their business since the Local Government Act of 1898 became law, would admit that these bodies had discharged their duty well and with a due regard to the interests of the ratepayers. He thought that the Local Government Board should do something to show their appreciation of that work. There were two ways of doing everything; and if the Local Government Board would throw aside a little of their arrogance it would be better for themselves and the ratepayers of Ireland at large. The 334 result of the manner in which the local bodies were treated was to promote insubordination among the officials, and induce them to look to the Local Government Board, who were not their masters, and to carry out their views rather than those of the county councils. It must be acknowledged that that was the spirit which was engendered by the Local Government Board. It was only right that these officials should be pensioned after discharging their duties for a number of years, and a Bill for the purpose had been introduced, but so great had been the feeling created in Ireland by the Local Government Board that the Bill had little chance of becoming law until that body reformed its ways. The Local Government inspectors were drawn from a class opposed to the views of the people, and until the Local Government Board dealt direct with the representative bodies of Ireland in a more genial and less dictatorial manner, matters would not improve. He was glad the condition of the unions of Ireland had been improved, but at the same time he thought it was a most suspicious thing that the Local Government Board should have allowed the old state of things to go on for so many years, and should have only discovered the necessity for this improvement at the time when the landlords were exempted from paying half the expense, the whole of which now fell altogether on the poor. It was a matter which in his opinion the Local Government Board should have initiated years ago.
§ *MR. O'SHEE (Waterford, W.)
directed attention to the provision of the Local Government Act for the better provision of harmless lunatics in the workhouses of Ireland, which he said, owing to the action of the Local Government Board, had been altogether inoperative. He was connected with a board of guardians as chairman, and had submitted a scheme to the Local Government Board Inspector to utilise a portion of the workhouse at Carrick-on-Suir, which was built at a time when the idea as to the proper treatment of the poor in Ireland was not so far advanced as it was at the present time for the accommodation of 700 persons, and it would even under present ideas of management accommo- 335 date 450 persons, while the usual number of inmates did not exceed 200. There were about 180 harmless lunatics in the workhouses of South Tipperary, and there was accommodation in that workhouse, and the suggestion had been made that a portion of the workhouse, which was nearly empty, should be used for the accommodation of harmless lunatics. It was a reasonable suggestion, and although it might be necessary to build houses for the officers, that would be a very small item of expense; but the Local Government Board inspector before whom the matter was brought had stated that there was not the slightest chance of the assent of the Local Government Board being given to the use of this empty building for such a purpose. He had urged as a reason for the acceptance of the proposal that about sixteen acres which was now let for grazing, which lay next to this building, could be set apart for the use of the harmless lunatics, but notwithstanding all the arguments that had been brought to bear the Local Government Board inspector told them there was no possibility that the Local Government Board would assent to that proposal. Under the Act of 1898 it was only necessary to provide a suitable building for this purpose, and the scheme which had been suggested could easily be carried out by dividing the workhouse. It was because the Local Government Board would not sanction such reasonable schemes as this that that provision of the Act had been inoperative. Another provision which had become inoperative was that by which the boards of guardians with the consent of the Local Government Board could convert a workhouse infirmary into a district infirmary. By the board of guardians of which he was a member such a resolution had been passed, and the Local Government Board had received notice of the resolution, but the reply which they received from the Local Government Board was that that body had not made the regulations which by the Act they were bound to make for district infirmaries. That reply was received in 1899, and from then till now no regulations had been made. If the Local Government Board was as anxious as the Chief Secretary suggested to 336 promote the welfare of the inmates of these buildings, the imbecile and sick poor, the most helpless of all classes of the inmates of workhouses, they were going about it in a very peculiar way. They had done nothing whatever to make these regulations which were necessary in order to enable boards of guardians to secure the operation of the Act of 1898; they had given no facilities to enable a portion of these huge workhouses, which for the greater part were empty, to be used for harmless lunatics. He quite agreed with the strictures that had been passed upon the Local Government Board inspectors with regard to the erection of workmen's dwellings. Their action disclosed an extraordinary state of things. Where there was no opposition to applications for the erection of cottages the applications were rejected. The express object of these Acts was to enable the local authorities of Ireland to build houses for poor agricultural labourers and let them at rents which the labourers should be able to pay. The usual rent under the Act was 1s. a week, but in one ease, because the agent or sub-agent of the Duke of Devonshire had four houses in a town to let at a rental of 2s. a week, the applications for additional houses were refused, although in that case there had been representations made for sixteen houses. There was a similar case in which the Marquess of Waterford objected, and the same kind of thing went on all over the country. It was such a matter of notoriety in that country that where a landlord like the Marquess of Waterford opposed the erection of a cottage the application was bound to be thrown out that the people had to a great extent given up attempting to get better cottages. Since the passing of the Local Government Act they had resumed their attempts, but they found the Local Government Board inspector controlled the situation, and that if they wished to appeal they had to go before an even worse tribunal, the Irish Privy Council, which was packed with landlords. With reference to road-making in Ireland, the greatest trouble was that the assistant county surveyors did not give the whole of their time to their professional work, but in many cases either carried on a retail trade or 337 worked for private individuals. In his opinion a rule should be made to prohibit them from doing either of these things. If road work in Ireland was to be carried on successfully the assistant county surveyor should be ready to inspect the roads at any particular moment, and not merely to inspect them twice a year. Ho thought it would be very desirable, now that all these salaries were being fixed, that a regulation should be made prohibiting assistant county surveyors from taking any work of a private nature, but that they should only be allowed to take up work in connection with public boards in their own districts. He thought the time had come when some change ought to be made in the system of appointing Local Government Board inspectors. Retired Army officers should not necessarily be regarded as proper persons for these posts, and some real qualification should be required, and he suggested that these positions should be occupied by persons who had been engaged in the work of the unions, clerks and masters of workhouses and others, who had in the past performed their duties efficiently; that the post of Local Government Board inspector should be regarded in the light of a legitimate promotion for those who had been good and efficient servants of the unions in the past.
§ MR. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)
said he would confine his remarks to the question of local government in Ireland. The Local Government Act being now an accomplished fact, they had to make the best of it. The efforts of the Irish county councils had made the Act more successful than it would otherwise have been in the peculiar circumstances under which Ireland was governed. He would endeavour to make some practical suggestions, to which he hoped the Chief Secretary would reply. The Irish county councils had endeavoured to carry out the provisions of the Local Government Act in Ireland efficiently and harmoniously. Having paid a fair price for local government in Ireland, they naturally expected to get the same advantages which local government had conferred upon England. Under the English Act he understood that the Association of 338 County Councils in England were allowed a certain sum to enable representatives of county councils to meet together for consultation on points about which differences existed. If a similar expenditure was allowed to the Association of County Councils in Ireland, conferences could be arranged with representatives of the Local Government Board and a good deal of friction might thereby be avoided. What the county councils of Ireland desired from the Local Government Board was less dictation and more consultation. He hoped that the same liberty to use funds for this purpose would be given in Ireland as in England, and if this were done a good deal of friction might be avoided and a good deal of litigation saved.
In the matter of scientific investigation the English county councils were much better off than in Ireland, where no fund had been provided for this purpose as in England. He submitted a clause when the Bill was before the House providing for bacteriological investigations, but the Chief Secretary opposed that clause. At the recent Tuberculosis Conference a decision had been arrived at which was a very important matter for the Irish county councils, and yet they had no fund available for any such purposes, although this was a subject which was engaging the attention of all scientists throughout the civilised world. He wanted the Irish county councils to work in co-operation with the Local Government Board. They wanted less interference with their work from the Local Government Board and more consultation, and there ought to be less dictation from the permanent officials.
He had been making inquiries as to how it was that in matters affecting local government things were carried on so smoothly in this country. In England they had none of the friction and disappointment and litigation which took place in Ireland, and which ought not to occur in a country which was supposed to be constitutionally governed. In England in cases where there was likely to be friction the local boards and the Local Government Board generally held consultations, and as a rule the popular view prevailed. Those questions which produced so much friction 339 in Ireland were amicably settled in England by this process of consultation. He trusted that as a result of this debate something would be done by the right hon. Gentleman to bring about a similar state of things with regard to local government as existed in England. With regard to the question of the accommodation of harmless lunatics, he thought something ought to be done to lessen the expense and increase the efficiency in regard to their treatment. Under the Dublin County Council they had perhaps the most expensive asylum in Ireland. It would be less expensive if these harmless lunatics were treated in another institution, and it would be better for the lunatics themselves. It appeared to him that something ought to be done to appoint qualified gentlemen as inspectors. He made no charge in regard to existing inspectors, but there was no doubt that the local authorities had not the highest confidence in some of them. There was an element of unrest in this matter in which there ought to be confidence on both sides. In regard to the erection of labourers' cottages, the inspectors ought to be warned that they must no tbe frightened by the landlords. For years he had been aware that in many districts it was impossible to have labourers' cottages erected because the guardians and inspectors were opposed to it. The people of Ireland had undoubtedly had no experience in regard to local government, but he put it to the House whether disappointment had been created in regard to the manner in which they had carried out the Local Government Act since they had been endowed with that great constitutional freedom.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. ATKINSON, Londonderry, N.)
Quite the contrary. We have been agreeably surprised at the success of the experiment.
§ MR. FIELD
said that he remembered the time when hon. Gentlemen opposite said that there would be extravagance of the greatest kind and constitutional earthquakes when the Local Government Act came into operation in Ireland. In fact he thought that the local government bodies were almost too careful, and if extravagance could be 340 imputed to them it had been imposed upon them by the Local Government Board. He put it to the right hon. the Chief Secretary and the hon. and learned Attorney General that, after the experience they had had, whether some Amendment ought not to be introduced into the Act which would enable them to carry on the work of local government with less friction, less expense, and more harmony than hitherto. They wanted to give the Government every chance for fair play, and allow the Local Government Board to co-operate with the local bodies in an efficient and harmonious way at the least possible cost to the ratepayers.
§ *MR. ATKINSON
thought it would be discourteous not to respond to the appeal which the hon. Gentleman had made to him to say a few words in reply to the criticisms he had passed. In the first place, he congratulated him on his speech because the hon. Member, without being false to his principles, had sought, as he always did, to secure some practical advantage for Ireland, and some amelioration in the government of its local affairs. But it must be remembered that it was the late Government which brought in the Local Government Act of 1898. He had the honour of some share in the framing and passing of the measure, and it seemed strange to him that those who framed the Act had sometimes failed to receive quite as much encouragement on the other side as they might have done, and should not have been regarded as the friends of local government, anxious for the perfection and success of the system which they themselves inaugurated. One of the persons who gave most aid in framing that measure was the present permanent head of the Local Government Board, and as he (Mr. Atkinson) was familiar with the knowledge which that gentleman had brought to bear on the subject, the policy he endeavoured to carry out, and the ideas he suggested, he thought it but plain justice to him to say that he had been from the first most anxious to make local government a success in Ireland. Local government in Ireland had been a great success, and nobody rejoiced more at that than he did, except possibly the permanent head 341 of the Local Government Board. But it must be remembered what the problem was that he had to deal with. He had to deal with a number of bodies, the constituent members of which were absolutely unacquainted with the conduct of local affairs. What was the problem? The problem was to nurse them, as it were, into acquaintance with the conduct of local government, to restrain them, so that when they were fairly set up on the road they might be able to go steadily and cautiously forward, and discharge their duties efficiently and well. Of course it must have occurred to the permanent head of the Board that the restraints necessary at the start would not necessarily stop as progress was made, and if he were to make a criticism upon the different local bodies in Ireland it would be that they were forgetful of two maxims. The first was that none of us was infallible, and the next was the rather homely one, that men should learn to walk before they run. After all, the county councils of Ireland were only learning to walk at present. He wished to make it plain that there was every desire on the part of the Government to see that proper service should be secured to the poor of Ireland in the hospitals. That the Local Government Board insist upon, and so far as they were concerned it would be carried out. Then as to the question of labourers' cottages, That required a great deal of consideration. He could assure hon. members that there was nothing but good will towards the new system in the Local Government Board, and there was nothing but anxiety that it should succeed. Though there had been some friction, it had been to some degree due to an unfounded suspicion that the Local Government Board desired to treat the local bodies arrogantly. He quite agreed that the Acts might work more smoothly, but he thought everyone would agree that the permanent head of the Local Government Board in Ireland was anxious to receive with courtesy and consideration any member of a local authority who might approach him. It was recognised that it would be necessary from time to time to amend the Local Government Act, and nobody was more anxious than his right hon. friend and the permanent officials of the Board to consider 342 every suggestion that might be made, but they must think of the effect of any proposal in different directions. These matters must be considered from every point of view, and he could not help feeling that hon. gentlemen shewed some impatience when they recommended something to the Local Government Board which was not immediately accepted, though it would not stand the test of careful examination, The complaint that no provision had been made for the expenses of the association of county councils would receive the careful consideration of his right hon. friend. There was no pressing necessity for legislation to establish institutions for scientific research; that was a matter for the future. Complaint had been made with regard to the conduct of Local Government Board inspectors, and it would be obvious that before any reply could be made to those complaints the answer of the inspectors should be heard. With regard to the Labourers Cottages Act, although it was desirable to house comfortably and properly the agricultural labourers required in any particular district, and by an extension of the Housing of the Working Classes Act to house properly the artisan class, of the towns as far as practicable, yet care should be taken not to give a kind of auxiliary outdoor relief by erecting cottages for labourers who were not wanted in any particular district, otherwise they would run the risk in establishing a man in a house with an inadequate amount of land attached to support him of setting up a class of pauper agriculturists, not labourers, with such disastrous results as were seen in the West on a larger scale. He doubted whether independent inspectors would please either the landlords or the tenants. He would bring before his right hon. friend the various points that had been raised, and he had no doubt they would be carefully considered.
§ *MR. KENNEDY (Westmeath, N.)
said he had listened with great interest to the debate, and taking as he did a great interest in the Work of local government in Ireland, he wished to acknowledge the conciliatory spirit in which the Chief Secretary had met the views of 343 Irish members, and also the conciliatory spirit of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down. He merely wished to call attention to the qualifications which were insisted upon by the Local Government Board for assistant county surveyors of county councils in Ireland. In his opinion, in the Order of February, 1900, issued by the Local Government Board, the programme of qualifications was extravagant in a country which was denied university education. It prescribed qualifications which involved almost university training. The position of assistant county surveyors was a very ordinary one, so far as its literary requirements were concerned. The duty of assistant county surveyor only required that a man should be able to read and write well, and be able to measure heaps of stone, but what was required more than anything else was an honest man. It appeared to him that in prescribing qualifications not attainable by the majority of the Irish people a privilege had been created for the old ascendency classes of Ireland. Under this rule it provided that any person who had filled the position of assistant county surveyor was entitled without further examination to be appointed county surveyor in any other county. All over Ireland there were assistant surveyors who had been illegally appointed by the county surveyors, who could not pass the qualifying examination required under Section 43 of the Act of 1836. In county Meath there were six assistant surveyors, only one of whom had passed an examination, and he came from another county. The whole or, at any rate, a great deal of the trouble under the Local Government Act came from the county and assistant surveyors, and the Chief Secretary was in error in stating that they could have been compulsorily retired before a certain date. The county councils were obliged to take over these men, and some people thought it would be an excellent thing if the county councils were enabled to borrow money in order to buy them out, and to set up in their place a new staff of competent men. One of the reasons put forward for keeping on the old officials was that it would be impossible for the new bodies to work with new hands. That certainly had not been his expe- 344 rience. As chairman of the body described by the Attorney General as the best-managed county council in Ireland, he had found that the men who knew nothing about the grand jury system were the men with whom he had least trouble. When the new men were in any difficulty they referred to the Act and found out the right thing to do, whereas the old officials relied on their former experience and carried out their work according to a law no longer in operation. These men had been trained in a bad school. Instead of the county officials being governed by the grand juries, the grand juries were governed by the county officials. On the question of expenses, those unacquainted with the practical working of the county councils in Ireland had said there was no reason why a one-clause Act should not have been passed, merely setting up an elected body to transact the duties formerly transacted by the grand juries. Such persons did not understand the tremendous changes effected in local government by the Local Government Act and the Orders in Council thereunder. Not a single thing was the same now as before the passing of the Act. Not merely had the functions of the grand juries been transferred to the county councils, but also the functions of the boards of guardians as the great rating authorities, of the boards of guardians under the Diseases of Animals Acts, of the magistrates under the Explosives Acts, and of numerous other smaller bodies. A great deal of expense arose from printing, clerical work, and law charges, and much of the clerical work was in consequence of the orders prescribed by the Local Government Board. Some forty books and forms were prescribed for an authority, the predecessor of which kept only one or perhaps two. A number of the forms were admittedly unnecessary, and many of the expenses might be saved by the bodies themselves. The advertisement charges could be reduced, as there was no provision in law requiring advertisements to be published except in regard to audit, and even then the publication of one table only was necessary. Other expenses, however, were inherent to the Act, and incidental to the fact that the councils, unlike the grand juries, were corporate bodies. Formerly, if a man 345 drove into a ditch at night he had no remedy; now he would bring an action against the county council and recover damages. The expenses of registration had been considerably increased by the Registry Act, 1898. Formerly, one polling sheet for each parliamentary polling district was required; now there had to be a separate unit for each local government polling district, and every poor law electoral division was a local unit. This had enormously increased the expenses of registration. The hon.
§ Member was proceeding to refer to the financial clauses of the Act, when—
§ It being Ten of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER, in pursuance of the Order of the House of the 7th August, put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the resolution then under consideration.
§ Question put accordingly, "That the House doth agree with the Committee in the Resolution."
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 197; Noes, 122. (Division List No. 446.)347
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Duke, Henry Edward||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S.)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Fellowes, Hon. A. Edward||Lowe, Francis William|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc.||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Lowther, Rt. Hon. James (Kent)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Finch, George H.||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Finlay, Sir R. Bannatyne||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Balcarres, Lord||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. Ellison|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Fisher, William Hayes||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. Gerald W. (Leeds||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||MacIver, David (Liverpool)|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Fitzroy, Hon. E. Algernon||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Gardner, Ernest||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Garfit, William||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Godson, Sir A. Frederick||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn||Maple, Sir John Blundell|
|Bigwood, James||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Milton, Viscount|
|Bond, Edward||Gordon, Maj. Evans- (T'rH'mts||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby- (S'lop||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex||Goschen, Hon. G. Joachim||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)|
|Bull, William James||Goulding, Edward Alfred||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)|
|Butcher, John George||Groves, James Grimble||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Carlile, William Walter||Hain, Edward||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hall, Edward Marshall||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Midd'x||Mount, William Arthur|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r.||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Myers, William Henry|
|Chapman, Edward||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Charrington, Spencer||Heath, James (Staffords., N. W.)||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Heaton, John Henniker||Parker, Gilbert|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Henderson, Alexander||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hogg, Lindsay||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hoult, Joseph||Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Houston, Robert Paterson||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Colomb, Sir John C. Ready||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Purvis, Robert|
|Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Pym, C. Guy|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Randles, John S.|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Rankin, Sir James|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Law, Andrew Bonar||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Lawson, John Grant||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Fareham||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Renwick, George|
|Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge)|
|Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)||Webb, Col. William George|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Spear, John Ward||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Robinson, Brooke||Spencer, Ernest (W. Bromwich)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-und-Lyne|
|Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk||Williams, Rt Hon J Powell (Birm|
|Ropner, Colonel Robert||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Round, James||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Royds, Clement Molyneux||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Rutherford, John||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Sackville, Colonel S. G. Stopford-||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.|
|Seton-Karr, Henry||Thornton, Percy M.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Tritton, Charles Ernest||William Walrond and Mr.|
|Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward||Anstruther.|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Smith, H C. (North'mb, Tyneside||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Harwood, George||O'Doherty, William|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Donnell John (Mayo, S.)|
|Bell, Richard||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Boland, John||Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Dowd, John|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Holland, William Henry||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Boyle, James||Horniman, Frederick John||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.|
|Brigg, John||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||O'Malley, William|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||O'Mara, James|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Burns, John||Jordan, Jeremiah||O'Shee, James John|
|Burt, Thomas||Joyce, Michael||Partington, Oswald|
|Caldwell, James||Kennedy, Patrick James||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Cameron, Robert||Lambert, George||Reddy, M.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Leamy, Edmund||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Levy, Maurice||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Lloyd-George, David||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Lough, Thomas||Roche, John|
|Colville, John||Lundon, W.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Crean, Eugene||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Crombie, John William||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Cullinan, J.||M'Dermott, Patrick||Sullivan, Donal|
|Daly, James||M'Fadden, Edward||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Dalziel, James Henry||M'Govern, T.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Thompson, Dr E C (Monagh'n, N.|
|Delany, William||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Thomson, F. W. (Yorks., W. R.)|
|Dillon, John||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Wallace, Robert|
|Doogan, P. C.||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Duffy, William J.||Moss, Samuel||Weir, James Galloway|
|Elibank, Master of||Murnaghan, George||White, Luke (Yorks., E. R.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Murphy, John||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Field, William||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Whiteley, George (Yorks., W. R.)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Wilson, Henry J. (Yorks., W. R.)|
|Grant, Corrie||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Sir Thomas Esmonde and|
|Hammond, John||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Captain Donelan.|
§ Mr. SPEAKER then proceeded, in pursuance of the same Order, to put forthwith severally the Questions, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the outstanding Resolutions reported 348 in respect of each Class of the Civil Service Estimates, the Navy Estimates, the Army Estimates, the Revenue Departments and other outstanding Estimates."349
§ *MR. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member will read the resolution he will see that there is nothing in it about the amount.