§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether, pending legislation for the granting of facilities for the erection of artisans' dwellings in urban districts in Ireland, steps will be taken by a departmental arrangement to enable urban authorities 783 to borrow on easier and cheaper terms money required for the better housing of labourers in the towns.
§ MR. CHERRY
I am afraid that what the hon. Member asks is not possible without legislation. If reference be made to Section I of the Public Works Loans Act, 1897, it will be seen that loans to local bodies can only be made at rates which will not involve loss to the local loans fund, and I am informed that the rates now charged are only such as are necessary to keep that fund self-supporting. I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the Question of the hon. Member for West Kerry on Thursday last.†
§ MR. THOMAS O'DONNELL (Kerry, W.)
Is not money raised at 3 per cent. and lent to the local authorities at 4¼ per cent.?
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that there is a strong feeling in Ireland that working men living in towns should be afforded equal facilities with those in the country for buying cottages? Will he bring in a legislation to secure that?
§ MR. CHERRY
In view of the state of business I do not think legislation would be possible this year.
§ MR. FLAVIN
Ts the right hon. Gentleman aware that in urban areas the wage of the artisan is little more than that of the agricultural labourer?