§ MR. BARRIE (Londonderry, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can now name a date for presenting the Report of the Poor Law Commission, Ireland; what has been the cause of the dates previously indicated being so much exceeded; and whether he is aware that local authorities, pending receipt of the Report, have preferred to delay incurring large outlays for improvements on their 52 buildings, but are now being pressed by the Local Government Board.
I am informed by the Chairman of the Poor Law Reform Commission that the Commissioners have not yet agreed upon quite all the questions that must be dealt with in their Report. An agreement has, however, been arrived at between the Commissioners upon nearly all the points involved in the reference and dealt with in their draft Report, which has been in print for some time. The Commissioners, while expecting to report without much further delay, cannot fix a date for the presentation of their Report. The Local Government Board are aware that some local authorities are delaying the carrying out of improvements on their buildings pending the receipt of the Report, and, except in cases in which the work is of an urgent character, no pressure is being put upon these authorities by the Board.
§ MR. BARRIE
But on May 10th last the right hon. Gentleman told me that the Report as then in the hands of the printers.† Why this long delay?
Alterations are often made in Reports after they are in proof. It seems that the anticipation of an early complete agreement among the Commission then entertained has not been realised.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)
Has not the delay been in part caused by the chairman of the Commission being engaged on another inquiry?
§ MR. BARRIE
Will the right hon. Gentleman address a remonstrance to the Commission and press on them the urgency of sending in the Report.
I will convey to the Commission the information that the Report is anxiously awaited, although I think they know that already.