§ Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland in what rural districts in Ireland Form VI, under the Labourers (Ireland) Acts, initiating proceedings for the acquisition of tracts of land for the use of labourers, have been used, with, in each case, t he amount, of land acquired in pursuance thereof and the number of families accommodated; and if he will account for the partial or complete failure of the statutory provisions represented by that form to bring any benefit to the labourers?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Local Government Board have no statistics as to the number of representations on Form VI. which have been lodged with rural district councils. The total amount of land acquired and let in pursuance of such representations up to 31st March, 1910, was 210 acres 3 roods 13 perches. Particulars up to 31st March last are not yet ascertained. The Labourers Acts provide that the maximum allotment for each labourer shall not exceed a statute acre, the acreage mentioned would therefore accommodate at least 211 labourers with their families, and a considerably greater number if the tracts have been let in smaller allotments. There does not appear to have ever been any eager desire on the part of labourers to take advantage of this particular provision of the Acts, and this can probably be accounted for by the fact that as a general rule the requirements of labourers living in villages in rural districts have been met by the provision of suitable house accommodation with gardens attached, which, from a labourer's point of view, is much preferable to that of having one of a number of gardens comprised in a tract of land at a distance from his house.