§ MR. WILLIAM ABRAHAM
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he will state the reason for the refusal of the Local Government Board to sanction a reduction of the rents of labourers' cottages in Mitchelstown union from 1s. to 9d. per week, having regard to the fact that this reduction was passed unanimously by the rural district council, and that the rents of labourers' cottages in the adjacent union of Fermoy are only 7½d. per week; and whether, in view of the necessities of the labourers in the district, he Local Government Board will re-consider the matter and sanction the reduction.
The sanction of the Local Government Board is not necessary in this matter. The Mitchelstown No. 1 Rural District Council recently asked the Board to sanction the proposed reduction of the rents from 1s. to 9d. a week, but the Board replied that the council must act on their own responsibility and be prepared to satisfy the auditor as to the propriety of their action. If the council have not carried the proposal into effect, it is probable that they fear they cannot, as trustees of the ratepayers, justify the reduction of the rents hitherto charged, seeing that the cottages already entail a heavy burden on the ratepayers.