HC Deb 31 January 1908 vol 183 cc367-8

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that in consequence of the new method of distributing the Exchequer Contribution, introduced by the Labourers Act of 1906, the amount available for the counties in Ulster has been reduced from £12,408 in 1904–5 to £2,734 in 1906–7, representing a loss to these counties of £9,674 per annum; whereas the share of Leinster and Munster in the Exchequer Contribution has been increased by £2,552 and £4,491 per annum respectively; and whether, in view of the large number of applications received by the district councils in Ulster for labourers' cottages and additional allotments, and the difficulty of acceding to them without increasing considerably the amount of local rates, he will introduce proposals for a more equitable distribution of this fund.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) This Question appears to have been framed under a misconception, and the figures quoted give a misleading idea of the general effect of the Act of 1906. I would refer the hon. Member to my Answer to the Question of the hon. Member for East Down on the 10th April. 1907,† when I explained the equitable principle of distribution adopted by the Act of 1906. The actual sums which each province will in future receive from Government funds will depend entirely upon the extent to which the Act is put in force in each district.