HC Deb 25 February 1901 vol 89 cc1048-9
MR. J. P. FARRELL (Longford, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Government would be prepared to accept a change in the Labourers Act which would enable the occupying tenants of these plots to acquire the ownership on terms fair to the district councils and the ratepayers; and whether any resolutions have recently been received by the Department in favour of such a change in the law.


The reply to the second paragraph is in the affirmative. I believe a suggestion to the effect mentioned was made at the time of the passing of the Labourers Act of 1896, but the Government declined to accept it. More recently still, in 1899, a provision was inserted in the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act of that year expressly exempting from the operation of this Act cottages held by a district council under the Labourers Acts. The Government is not prepared to depart from the policy adopted in 1896 and 1899.


May I ask whether the Small Dwellings Act is not practically inoperative, and, that being so, will not the Government deal with this question?


I do not think sufficient time has elapsed since 1899 to make it expedient to consider the question of amending legislation at present.