HC Deb 20 November 1919 vol 121 cc1112-4
18 and 19. Major O'NEILL

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland (1) how many local authorities have power to submit schemes under the Irish Housing Act; how many of these have so far done so;

(2) how many houses have been built under the provisions of the Irish Housing Act; how many are in course of erection; and in respect of how many have schemes been submitted by the local authorities concerned?

22. Mr. DONALD

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland what is the delay in carrying out, the housing scheme in Ireland; if he will give the number of local authorities who are applying the Act; and what progress they have made in the erection of houses?

The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Macpherson)

The number of local authorities affected by Section 1 of the Housing (Ireland) Act, 1919, is 127, and of these ninety-nine have submitted schemes for the purposes of the Section. Two houses are almost completed. The number of houses proposed to be provided ultimately is 51,317. There has been no undue delay. The Act became law only on 15th August last, and since then the local authorities have lost no time in considering the possibilities offered by the financial arrangements.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the scheme is working satisfactorily in Ireland?


I think it will work very satisfactorily.

Lieut.-Colonel ALLEN

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many urban councils, having considered this scheme, have found that the requirements of the Local Government Board as to the type of house to be built are of such a character as to prohibit these councils from proceeding with a scheme? Will he instruct the Local Government Board to amend their proposals, so that by reasonable expenditure the urban councils may be induced to proceed with the houses which are so badly needed?


I will instruct the Local Government Board to reconsider the proposals which they have sent forward, and I will endeavour to get them to consider buildings such as they are anxious to erect.


Is it not a fact that the Housing Act in Ireland has been found utterly unworkable, just as the Housing Act in this country has been found likewise; and is it proposed to come to the assistance of the Irish authorities to the same extent and in the same way us the Government are coming to the assistance of the English authorities, according to the announcements in the Press this morning?


I cannot agree that the Irish Housing Act has been found unworkable. It is a very remarkable fact that ninety-nine local authorities out of 127 have already submitted schemes.


Is it not a fact that, although they have submitted schemes, those schemes have been found to be unworkable, either by the authorities or the Local Government Board?


I cannot accept that statement.

21. Major O'NEILL

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland how many applications for houses under the Labourers Acts have been received since the Armistice; how many of such applications have been granted; and in respect of how many houses have building operations been started?


The records of the-Local Government Board are not compiled in such a way as to enable the information asked for in the first part of the question to be given. The information could only be obtained by applying to each of the rural district councils. Assuming, however, that what my hon. and gallant Friend requires relates to matters, of which the Board have cognisance, it appears that no improvement scheme proposing to provide new cottages under the Labourers Acts has been lodged for confirmation with the Board since the Armistice. The finance of such schemes out of land purchase funds is limited at present to cases where an urgent necessity exists for providing additional housing accommodation.

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