§ Mr. CLANCY
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the capitation grants in aid of the maintenance of lunatics in asylums in Ireland are not paid in full or at all till after the year in which they are due, and that, as the result of this practice on the part of the Treasury, many, if not all, of the Irish county councils are obliged to obtain overdrafts from their bankers or to devote to the maintenance of the asylums money raised for other purposes; and, if so, whether the Treasury will so regulate the payments in respect of the grants mentioned as will render it unnecessary for the individual members of the county councils to incur a liability for interest upon over-drafts upon which interest cannot legally be paid out of the rates?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Government grants (now payable out of moneys surrendered by the Exchequer to the local taxation account) are based on the average number of lunatics maintained in the asylums in the preceding financial year. The grants are only due and payable in respect of the current financial year, and are in respect of the preceding year in no other sense than that of being calculated on that year's average. In order to convenience the asylums as far as practicable the Irish Government and Treasury have arranged to make an advance "on account" in each year in the month of April equal to about 50 per cent. of the amount payable to each asylum in that financial year, and the balance is paid later in the year according as each asylum presents its accounts to the auditor and has them audited and passed.