§ MR. LOUGH
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that, under The Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, and the County Councils Order of 18th April, 1899, Councils of County Boroughs in Ireland are required to hand over to the Guardians one-fourth of their annual estimate and demand on the first quarter day after 23rd January, which in some cases is the 1st April, the day on which the rate is struck and before it could have been collected; and, seeing that, although the Councils are under a penalty for non-compliance with this requirement, the Local Government Board will not permit them to overdraw their accounts at their bankers to enable them; to comply with the demand, as the auditors of the Local Government Board have surcharged members of Councils with the bank interest on such overdrafts when made, whether it is the intention 599 of the Government to amend the law in order that the state of matters referred to may be altered.
§ MR. ATKINSON
I am informed by the. Local Government Board that the County and Borough Councils should have no difficulty in complying with the demands of the Poor Law Guardians, inasmuch as they receive the amount of the Agricultural Grant before the 1st of April. The subject is too complicated to be adequately dealt with in the form of a Question and Answer, but I shall be glad to furnish the hon. Member with the Report I have received on the subject from the Local Government Board, if he so desires.