HC Deb 15 March 1916 vol 80 cc2076-7

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if a fair proportion of the work connected with the War is being allotted to Ireland; on what grounds has the Local Government Board induced numbers of Irishmen to go to munition and kindred works in Great Britain, where they are now compulsorily detained; whether the Board informed them of this detention before they left Ireland; how it is that some local authorities in Ireland applying for assistance for old persons left unemployed by the War are told by the Board to send those persons also to Great Britain, for whose work and life they are wholly unfit; and whether relief will be provided either out of the funds to which the Irish people have contributed or by way of suitable work which they could do near their own homes?


Every effort is being made to allot to Ireland as large a proportion of the work connected with the War as can be undertaken there. The Local Government Board have never induced Irishmen to go to England on munition or any other kind of work, and consequently have had no cause to explain to them the nature of the employment, nor have they induced local authorities to send old persons to Great Britain for employment on work for which they are unfit. If it should be hereafter shown that there is distress caused by unemployment which cannot be met by the ordinary demands of the labour market, or through the Labour Exchange, applications for relief would no doubt be considered by the Prince of Wales' Fund, but in such a case it would not be possible to find suitable work for every applicant near his own home.