§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ The ATTORNEY - GENERAL for IRELAND (Mr. Henry)
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
This is a short Bill, and its object is to enable local authorities in Ireland to raise, for the purposes of public libraries, instead of 1d. in the £, as the law now stands, a sum of 3d. It is supported by the Corporations of Dublin and Belfast and a number of other local authorities. A similar Bill has been passed for England, and I am informed by the Lord Advocate that he proposes to introduce a similar Bill on Monday with regard to Scotland. The 3d. is to be raised without any consent on the part of the Local Government Board, and an additional 3d. may be raised with the consent of the Board. The English Act provides for an unlimited power to raise money for this purpose.
§ Captain W. BENN
I beg to second the Motion.
I have no objection to giving these large powers to local authorities in Ireland, but, owing to the complete dream in which the Government is living with regard to Ireland, how many of these authorities will take any notice of it? How many of these authorities have declared their allegiance to the Irish Republic? How many have refused to pay even the sums levied upon them under the Malicious Injuries Act? What control has the Irish Administration over these public authorities in Ireland? None at all. They all have Republican flags over their public buildings, and are in open revolt. It is in order to draw attention to that that second the Motion.