MR. T. F. RICHARDS
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he has received an application from the town clerk of Wolverhampton on behalf of his distress committee, asking for the sum of £150 for the purpose of finding employment for the unemployed by schemes of afforestation; and whether, as this application was made before the last £200,000 was granted, and that he made a further application, he will say if there is any reason why the sum asked for has not been granted to this district, where afforestation is badly needed and where good work has already been done by this form of beautifying the landscape.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
On the 30th March last I received an application from the distress committee for a payment from the grant of £150 to be expended in afforestation operations next winter. It appeared to me, however, that I could not properly make a payment out of the grant voted in the year 1906–7 in respect of works of afforestation to be carried out in the winter of 1907–8. The further application made to me by the distress committee was received on the 3rd April, when the period during which any payment could be made out of the grant had expired. I cannot at present say whether there will be exceptional need for assistance in the provision of temporary work for the unemployed at Wolverhampton next winter, but if later in the year this should appear to be probable and the distress committee renewed their application I should be prepared to consider it.