HC Deb 24 March 1902 vol 105 cc834-5

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland is he aware that a large proportion of the bonâ fide labourers in Ireland, owing to the fact that in order to secure house accommodation for themselves and their families, sign weekly agreements as caretakers although not such in reality; and does he know that such persons, owing to the fact that their houses cannot be pronounced unsanitary by the sanitary officer, not through want of facility to the obtainment of such information by the officer, but because the houses are not unsanitary, are thereby debarred from the benefits of the Labourers Acts; and will he, as he intends giving consideration to the cases of rural tradesmen and artisans, also extend the benefits of any future legislation respecting the labourers to those persons so circumstanced.


The hon. Member misconceives the object and policy of the Labourers Acts. The fact that a labourer occupies a house of the description mentioned cannot be deemed a sufficient ground for building a new cottage for him under these Acts, when the existing house is in such condition that the sanitary officer is unable to certify it as unfit for habitation. The policy of the Government is to make advances to local authorities only where it is shown that there is a deficiency of proper house accommodation, irrespectively of the description of house occupied by persons seeking new cottages, or of the fact that they have no fixity of tenure in their existing premises. I cannot undertake in any further legislation that may be introduced to alter the policy of the Acts.

MR. O'SHAUGHNESSY) (Limerick, W.

Has not the right hon. Gentleman seen the necessity for extending these benefits?

[No answer was returned.]