§ Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the appointment of a single Irish official, Sir Henry Robinson, out of ten members of the committee of inquiry as to the relations between Imperial and local taxation is considered a sufficient representation of Ireland on the Committee?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
The hon. Member is aware that the relations of Imperial and local taxation is, in the case of Ireland, receiving consideration by a separate Committee. But I am prepared to add the name of Mr. P. J. O'Neill, chairman of the county Dublin County Council, to the Committee which is considering the general question of Imperial and local taxation.
§ Mr. FFRENCH
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that the Wexford Board of Guardians at their last meeting made a protest against the action of the Government in deducting over 20 per cent. of the medical and educational grants for the half-year ending 30th September last, and against the Government pressure brought to bear on local authorities to improve their methods and modernise their institutions and services, whilst it became more and more penurious with reference to the growing expenditure; and whether the Government will see that the fund for relief of medical charities, lunatic asylums, and public health services shall no longer depend on the income derived from licences levied on the sale of intoxicating drink, but that the said grants shall be a charge upon the general revenue of the country?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I have received a copy of the resolution referred to. The question of securing a more stable source of income for the Local Taxation Account will, no doubt, be one of the matters dealt with by the Committee on Local Taxation recently constituted by the Government.
§ Mr. FFRENCH
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that the Wexford Board of Guardians complain that they received only £251 15s. 6d. recoupment out of the Local Taxation Fund, whereas they were entitled to £317 8s. 3d.; and can he explain what was the cause of the deficit and if it will be made good to the guardians in the next payment out of the Local Taxation Fund?404W
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The sum of £251 15s. 6d. represents the proportion of the guardians' expenditure for medical and educational purposes for the half-year ended 30th September, 1910, with arrears after the necessary abatements were made, owing to the insufficiency of the amount paid under Section 58 of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, to the Local Taxation (Ireland) Account in the year ended 31st March last to meet the sums payable out of the Account under that Section. I am not in a position to make any statement with regard to the last paragraph of the question.