§ Mr. JOHN PHILLIPS
asked the Chief Secretary whether the Local Government Board for Ireland had received a report of thirty-two cottages in the Corboy division, Longford union, Ireland; what action has it taken in this matter; are some of these labourers' cottages half constructed for the past two winters; what class of material is used in their construction; and did the Local Government Board inspector pass a cottage in the same union a few years ago that is estimated to cost £50 to repair at present?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
As the hon. Member has already been informed by the Local Government1326W Board, the Board's architects had inspected these cottages, and had reported that in two cases the walls had been built to a considerable height, and then allowed to stand exposed to the weather for several months. The materials composing these walls are stones and mortar, and it appears that owing to exposure the mortar had lost its bonding power. Inspections by the Board's architects are made for the Board's guidance in authorising advances of instalments of loans, and they are not intended to relieve the local authorities and their engineers from the responsibility of seeing that the works are properly executed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications. It does not devolve on the architects of the Local Government Board to pass cottages as suggested by the hon. Member.
§ Mr. SHEEHAN
asked the Chief Secretary whether, prior to February, 1910, the tenancies of labourers' cottages in the Macroom rural district were in every instance monthly tenancies; whether the amount of rent charged in these cases was 3s. 4d. a month; whether the regulations of February, 1910, prescribed for the future weekly instead of monthly tenancies; was the rent charged for these weekly tenancies 10d. a week or £2 3s. 4d. a year, whereas for similar cottages and allotments under the monthly letting the rent was 3s. 4d. a month or £2 a year; did the regulation of 1910 accordingly increase the rent by 3s. 4d. a year; and can he state the meeting of the district council at which the regulations were adopted?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Prior to 1910 some of the tenancies were monthly and others weekly, and the rents varied according to the scheme under which the cottages were provided and the extent of the garden allotments. The Regulations of February, 1910, provided for weekly tenancies, the rents being as already stated in the reply given to the hon. Member's question on this subject on the 20th instant. The Regulations expressly stipulated that existing letting agreements were not to be affected. The Council adopted these Regulations provisionally in February, 1910, and finally on the 6th August of that year, and the approval of the Local Government Board thereto was given on the 11th October.