§ Mr. KEATING
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he will state the amount raised locally in Ireland for the purposes of the Poor Law administration in the years 1897 and 1909, respectively, and also the amount for the same years raised locally for maintenance of roads and other county and district works; and whether he can state approximately the amount allowed to occupiers and tenants by the landlords out of the amounts raised in the year 1897?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
It is not possible to state with accuracy the amount raised locally in 1897 for Poor Law administration in Ireland as it now exists. Boards of guardians were then charged with important administrative duties which have been transferred to county and district councils by the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898. Of the total expenditure of boards of guardians from Revenue, the approximate amount raised locally was £1,103,228 in 1897 and £817,751 in 1909. The amounts raised locally to meet the expenditure on roads, streets, and bridges are not ascertainable, but the sums so expended from Revenue in 1897 and 1909 were respectively £1,050,435 and £1,079,736. In aid of this expenditure the grant made to road authorities under the Probate Duties (Scotland and Ireland) Act, 1888, amounted in the former year to £101,507 and in the latter year to £105,790. In addition to this Grant, certain proportions of the Agricultural Grant for county-at-large and district charges are applied towards the expenditure on roads and bridges in rural districts, but the amounts so applied can-1430W not be determined by the Local Government Board. Further sums amounting to £367 were received from the Government in aid of roads in 1909. The entire cost of the other works referred to in the question appears to have been defrayed locally save for contributions from other sources amounting to £647 in 1909. The Local Government Board have no information with regard to the matter referred to in the concluding portion of the question.
§ Mr. KEATING
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware of the demand by all classes and sections of people in Ireland for reform of the Poor Laws on the lines laid down in the Report of the Vice-Regal Commission; whether a Bill has been prepared by the Irish Government, or the headings of such a Bill; and whether, having regard to the feelings of the Irish people on the necessity for such a Bill becoming law, and the probability of its receiving general support from all the representatives of the Irish people in both Houses of Parliament, he will take steps to have the said Bill introduced during the present Session of Parliament?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to a question on the subject asked by the hon. Member for East Down on 23rd February last, to which I have nothing at present to add.