§ 23. Mr. SHEEHAN
asked whether the Congested Districts Board have any power to advance loans for building dwelling houses outside the statutory congested areas to small farmers and cottiers whose valuation is under £7 annually; and whether the Irish Board of Works possesses any records of loans advanced for this purpose to persons of a similar valuation?
§ 24. Mr. SHEEHAN
asked how many cottages still remain unbuilt out of the last scheme of cottages promoted by the Macroom rural district council; whether any response was made to the requests addressed by the Local Government Board to this district council on two different occasions that an effort should be made to procure contractors to complete the building of cottages sanctioned in the scheme; how many cottages were erected as a result of these representations; and, if a considerable number still remain unbuilt, will the Local Government Board exercise the powers vested in them under the Labourers Acts for dealing with recalcitrant councils?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
On the 31st March last, the latest date to which information is available, 110 cottages were built, 7 were in course of erection, and 120 had not yet been commenced. The council represent that they have done all they could to obtain contractors and in spite of the continued advertisements issued by them the total number of cottages completed during the past 12 months has been only 13. This council have already provided 628 cottages in their district, and it would appear that, instead of being recalcitrant as suggested by the hon. Member, they seem to be disposed to put the Labourers Acts very liberally into operation.
§ Mr. SHEEHAN
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the labourers have been waiting for these cottages for a period of seven years, and will some pressure be put upon the council concerned in this matter?