§ Mr. SHEEHAN
asked the Chief Secretary if he can state how the loans, amounting to £3,936,631, sanctioned under The Labourers (Ireland) Act, 1908, are apportioned amongst the various Irish counties; how many cottages have been sanctioned or already built in each county under the provisions of this Act; how many improvement schemes are at present in progress in the various unions in Ireland; and what is the aggregate amount of the loans applied for in respect of them?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
As regards the first part of the question, particulars by counties are not readily available, but I hope that the hon. Member will find sufficient information for his purpose in the statement by provinces which I have just promised to publish with the Votes. As regards the remainder of the question, seventeen schemes have been received by the Local Government Board for which orders have not yet been made. These schemes embrace over 800 cottages and 140 additional allotments, whilst in addition there are 1,200 cottages and 150 allotments included in orders made for which loans have not yet been sanctioned. It is estimated that these schemes will exhaust the balance of the fund provided under the Labourers Act of 1906.
§ Mr. FFRENCH
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that the Wexford Rural District Council has been informed by the Local Government Board that no part of the 4¼ millions provided by Section 16 of the Labourers (Ireland) Act of 1906 is available for the carrying out of a scheme to give an additional half-acre to each labourer which the council has at present on hand; can he say if the fund is exhausted; and, if so, will he consider the advisability of recommending the Treasury 1605W to grant a supplemental loan, on the terms provided by the Act of 1906, for carrying out the Labourers Acts?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the questions asked by the hon. Member for Mid-Cork on the 2nd instant, in which I have explained the meaning of the circular issued to rural district councils. The Government are at present considering the question of introducing legislation with the object of re-enacting Section 18 of the Labourers Act, 1883, so as to enable loans to be made to local authorities for the purpose of erecting labourers' cottages on the system which existed before the passing of the Act of 1906.