HC Deb 25 May 1903 vol 122 cc1629-30

To ask the First Lord of the Treasury if he will state whether any, and, if so, what steps have been taken to form the Commission on Amalgamation of Unions in Ireland, the terms of reference to the Commission, and the names of the Commissioners; and will he undertake that in case the Commission is not wholly departmental or judicial, some Irish Members of Parliament will be asked to serve on it.

(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) The Commission was appointed on the 12th instant. The Commissioners are—Mr. G. Murnaghan, M. P., Dr. Coey Bigger, Medical Inspector of the Local Government Board, and Mr. W. L. Micks, Chairman. The terms of reference are as follows:—I. Whether any Poor Law unions could he dissolved with advantage to the ratepayers, and without hardship to the sick and destitute poor; and if any such dissolution be deemed desirable, what arrangements, by amalgamation of unions or otherwise, should be substituted therefor. II. Whether, in the event of any unions being amalgamated and the workhouses thereof being no longer required for Poor Law purposes, such workhouses could, with advantage, be taken over by County Councils for auxiliary lunatic asylums under Section 76 of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, or could be otherwise utilised for any public purpose. III. Whether it would be possible, either by an arrangement for the maintenance of paupers in adjoining workhouses, or by combining a number of unions for the purposes of indoor relief, to make better provision for the classification and treat- ment of the inmates, specially the aged and infirm, sick, lunatics, and children chargeable to the said unions; and whether any changes in the law and procedure as to the administration and chargeability of relief would be desirable in the event of such combination of unions being carried out. IV. Whether, having regard to the number and capacity of workhouses, hospitals, and infirmaries existing in any county, union. district, or locality, and to the other provisions for the relief of he sick poor, any additional accommodation is now required for the proper treatment of the sick poor, and if additional accommodation is necessary how it might best be provided. V. Generally to inquire and report Whether any, and what, administrative and financial changes are desirable, in order to secure a more economical system or the relief of the sick, the insane, and all classes of destitute poor in Ireland, without impairing efficiency of administration.