§ Mr. GUINEY
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether, in view of the fact that twenty-two rural district councils in Munster have petitioned the Local Government Board for Ireland for an order confirming improvement schemes made under the provisions of the Labourers Acts, of which six inquiries have only been held or ordered to be held, as these schemes contain applications for houses from hundreds of persons living in houses reported and certified by the sanitary officers to be unfit to live in and are a source of danger to the health of the community, and as the sanitary authority are by the provisions of Section 107, Sub-section 5, of the Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878, compelled to classify these houses as nuisances, and take proceedings against the occupiers, he will recall the Circular issued by the Local Government Board in November, 1911, in which it was stated that priority would be given to sanitary authorities having the least houses erected and substitute therefor instructions that all applications for inquiries into schemes which included condemned houses should be dealt with in the order in which they reach the Local Government Board?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
As I have frequently pointed out, it is the practice of the Local Government Board to give priority to schemes formulated in those districts where the needs of the labouring classes in the matter of housing accommodation is greatest, and I see no reason to depart from this principle. On the 31st March last 16,808 cottages had been erected or were in course of construction in Munster, as against 14,721 in Leinster, 6,897 in Ulster, and 2,040 in Connaught. It will thus be seen that Munster has no less than 41½ per cent, of the total number for all Ireland.