HC Deb 31 March 1910 vol 15 c1444

asked the Chief Secretary whether he was aware that, owing to unemployment, due to many causes, including the cessation of the direct labour system on many of the roads, there was considerable distress among the labouring people in West Clare; and whether, under these circumstances, he would consider the advisability of setting on foot public works, such as dredging harbours, reclaiming lands, and building piers, which would be of immediate benefit to West Clare and which would ultimately remunerate the Treasury on its outlay?


I am happy to say that the statistics as to relief in West Clare do not afford any evidence of unusual distress, but rather tend to show that the people are better off than they were either last year or the year before. No representation has been made to the Local Government Board under Section 13 of the Local Government Act of 1898 with respect to West Clare, and the hon. Member appears to be under a misapprehension as to the cessation of the direct labour system in the county. A grant from the Parliamentary Fund in aid of expenses under the Unemployed Workmen Act has been given to the Distress Committee of the town of Ennis, but the fund is not available for the relief of distress in rural areas. There is nothing in the state of the district calling for the institution of public works.