HC Deb 19 February 1912 vol 34 cc421-2W
Mr. MacCAW

asked the Chief Secretary if his attention has been called to the necessity of effecting an Amendment of the law whereby the wives and families of tenants of labourers' cottages cannot be relieved by guardians of the poor, although they are deprived of the means of existence by reason of their husbands being in hospital; and if he intends to propose legislation on this subject this Session?


The wives and families of labourers, if eligible for out-door relief on account of illness or disablement, are not debarred from this form of relief by reason of the husband being in occupation of a labourer's cottage. The prohibition of out-door relief to a landholder only applies to the husband himself. I see no necessity for any legislation on the subject.


asked the Chief Secretary if he can explain the circumstances under which a demand was made upon the tenants of labourers' cottages in the Macroom rural district for an increase in their rents equivalent to 3s. 4d. per year; whether the original agreements entered into by these tenants were for monthly lettings at 3s. 4d. per month; were these agreements changed at any time into weekly tenancies; if so, can he state the date and whether there is any resolution of the district council making the change; was it ever communicated to the tenants affected that their tenancies were being altered from monthly to weekly ones; is he aware that discontent exists amongst the labourers in connection with this matter; and can he state whether any steps are being taken to restore the rents to the figure which the several tenants originally agreed to pay?


In February, 1910, the Macroom Rural District Council, in pursuance of the Labourers (Ireland) Act, 1906, adopted regulations for the future letting of their cottages and allotments which provide that in the case of lettings subsequent to the date of the regulations the tenancies shall be weekly and at a slightly increased rent. It was expressly specified in the regulations that letting agreements previously entered into would not be affected. As far as the Local Government Board are aware, the council are acting in accordance with these regulations, and no complaints have been received from labourers in the district of attempts by the council to interfere with agreements existing prior to the date of the regulations.