§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Clare County Council have formulated, during the last two years, two schemes for employing direct labour on the roads of the county, and that the Local Government Board has disallowed each scheme in succession; will he say what was the reason of the disallowance in each case, and how long did the Board take in each case to make its decision known; and whether some simpler and more speedy method of bringing direct labour schemes into operation than that at present in existence can be devised by the Board.
(Answered by Mr. Walter Long.) The first scheme was adopted on 30th January last, and received by the Local Government Board on 15th February. Appeals were lodged during February and March. It was then found that the county council had failed to carry out the prescribed regulations in one particular. The county council, therefore, proceeded on 20th April to make a new provisional declaration, which they finally adopted on 13th June. Under the existing Orders, the council can only make these declarations at their statutory half-yearly meetings, which the meetings of April 20th and June 13th were not. The Board at once informed the county council accordingly, and the council now propose to proceed de novo. The Board are considering the question of amending the rules dealing with these schemes in the case of counties which hold half - yearly instead of quarterly meetings.