§ MR. CHARLES CRAIG (Antrim, S.)
On behalf of the hon. Member for East Down, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland what was the Exchequer grant for the purpose of the Labourers Acts made to county Down for the financial year ending in 1906; and what will be the corresponding grant of the same county under the Labourers Act of 1906 for 1907–8.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. BIRRELL,) Bristol, N.
The share of the county Down for the financial year ended 31st March, 1906, was £2,010. Its share for the year 1907–8 on the basis of distribution established by the Labourers Act of last session will be, approximately, £297. The alteration of the method of distribution was, as I have already explained, made for the purpose of securing an equitable allocation of the grant amongst the several rural districts in which cottages have been provided. It was manifestly unfair that county Down should receive £2,010 in respect of 235 cottages, or about £8 11s. 0d. per cottage, while county Limerick, for example, received only £1,553 for 2,647 cottages, or about 11s. 9d. per cottage. Under the new system all districts will be paid out of the grant at a uniform rate of £1 8s. 8d. per cottage for every cottage provided before the 1st November, 1906.
§ MR. CHARLES CRAIG
Is the right hon. Gentleman of opinion that this change in the law in reference to the grant is likely to facilitate the building of cottages in county Down?