HC Deb 03 June 1907 vol 175 cc274-5

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he has received any complaints as to the tardy working of the Labourers Act; and whether anything can be done to hasten the erection of cottages for the labourers.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The Local Government Board have received some complaints from labourers to the effect stated in this Question, but, so far, the Board cannot charge the councils with undue delay, especially having regard to the enormous numbers of applications which they have before them, over 50,000 already. It should be remembered that each application for a cottage must be considered on its merits, and all the sites have to be chosen and inspected before the preparation of the schemes can be put in hand. It is obvious that schemes of such magnitude require time and care, and there will be far more, delay and disappointment in the long run if the statutory preliminaries are not closely observed, and if the schemes are prepared in a hurried or perfunctory manner. The hon. Member, however, may rest assured that every possible assistance will be given by the Local Government Board to the councils, and that no effort will be spared to expedite the working of the Act.