§ MR. SHEEHAN
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant 696 of Ireland whether, seeing that Article 13 of The Labourers (Ireland) Order, 1906, sets forth that the clerk of every rural district council shall forward to the Local Government Board a copy of every representation upon which the council have declined to take action, together with a statement of the council's reasons for so declining endorsed thereon, he will say why the Local Government Board framed this article unless they intended to take some executive or administrative action in cases where it could be shown to them, as a result of the inspector's investigations of repeated representations at the local inquiry, that cottages and allotments were refused to labourers on unjust or frivolous grounds; and, if the Local Government Board cannot make any addition to the lands proposed in an improvement scheme to be taken compulsorily, will he say whether the Board will order that representations improperly and illegally rejected should be included in a special supplementary scheme.
§ MR. BIRRELL
In framing the article referred to in the Question the Local Government Board wore merely requiring that the provisions of Section 10 of the Labourers Act of 1883 should be carried out. The statutes do not give power to the Board to override the decision of the rural district council in individual cases. The inspector, however, may make representations to the council in regard to any case in which he thinks that an application has been rejected on insufficient grounds, and in such case the council might reconsider the matter when the next scheme should be under their consideration. There do not appear to be any grounds for supposing that the councils generally have unduly rejected applications; for I understand that the schemes which have already been made would involve an expenditure considerably in excess of the amount provided by the Act.