HC Deb 19 July 1901 vol 97 cc1000-1

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that as the result of an inquiry held at Midleton, county Cork, in January last, the Local Government Board inspector has rejected fifty-four applications for cottages although these applications were supported by sworn evidence, and has thus deprived many labourers of the benefits of the Labourers Acts; and can he explain the reason for the rejection of the application of a labourer named Smiddy, residing in the electoral division of Ightermurragh, Midleton Union, in view of the fact that the house on the lands described by the inspector as a suitable dwelling has been used as a sheep shed for the past fifteen years.


Of the 191 cottages proposed to be erected the inspector recommended 137. No reason was assigned for the erection of a cottage on the lands mentioned in the second paragraph. The man Smiddy never worked for the occupying owner of these lands, but, usually, for other farmers with larger holdings. The necessity for the erection of a second cottage on the lands in question was not established, and the district council appeared to be satisfied with the result of the inquiry.


May I ask whether, in view of the large number of labourers who were deprived of decent dwellings by the action of this inspector, their case will be considered by the Government?


I do not think the hon. Gentleman states the facts accurately. The claims are sent forward and left to the determination of the Board. It is open to the local authority to re-submit at a future date the rejected claims.

MR. CULLINAN (Tipperary, S.)

As great dissatisfaction exists in Ireland on this subject, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will in future have the reasons assigned by the inspector for rejecting these claims laid before Parliament?


I will consider that. In many cases the district councils are glad to be relieved of the responsibility of arriving at a decision, and prefer that it should rest with the Local Government Board.

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

Is it not a fact that the inspectors make recommendations—


Order, order!


May I ask on what grounds the right hon. Gentleman states that the district councils are glad to be relieved of the responsibility?


Is it not a fact that these applications are always supported by sworn evidence from the locality?