§ MR. SHEEHAN (Cork County, Mid.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord - Lieutenant of Ireland whether the statement made frequently in correspondence emanating from the Labourers Department of the Local Government Board, to the effect that it is open to any agricultural labourers whose claims for cottages and allotments have been rejected by the rural district councils to appear before the inspector at the local inquiry, implies that such labourers can have their rejected representations inquired into and the reasons why they were excluded from the benefits of the Labourers Acts thoroughly investigated; and will he state what rule or clause or section of any of the Labourers Acts empowers the Local Government Board to declare that an inspector is not empowered to enlarge an improvement scheme by the addition of cottages and plots unjustly rejected by the district council.
§ MR. CHERRY
I would refer to my right hon. friend's Answer to the Question put by the hon. Member for West Clare on the 3rd instant. † Section 6 (1) of the Labourers Act of last year provides that the inspector shall consider all objections made by any persons interested, including any agricultural labourers by whom or on whose behalf representations have been made. The view taken by the Local Government Board of the effect of this† See (4) Debates, clxxvii., 701–2.56 section is that the investigation which the inspector is empowered to make into rejected claims should be directed to ascertaining and reporting as to the sufficiency or otherwise of the scheme as a whole rather than as to the action of the council in rejecting individual cases. They do not consider that he is intended to act as a court of appeal from the decision of the council in each case, inasmuch as he has no power to make any addition to the lands proposed in the scheme to betaken compulsorily.