HC Deb 02 June 1913 vol 53 cc606-7W
95. Mr. O'MALLEY

asked the Chief Secretary whether the Lettermore Island has been acquired by the Congested Districts Board; if so, whether immediate steps will be taken to erect cottages for the islanders and assist in obtaining a supply of pure water; whether he is aware that the recurrent outbreaks of fever in this district is due to the poverty of the people and to the defective water supply; and whether, in view of these facts, he will urge upon the Congested Districts Board and the Local Government Board to dispense with their usual red-tape procedure and carry out the necessary reforms without delay?


Lettermore Island has not yet been acquired by the Congested Districts Board, but they have decided to make an offer for the estate of which it forms part. When they acquire it they will at once begin to help the tenants to improve their dwellings and out-offices and to get rid of the insanitary surroundings, which are one of the causes of the enteric fever which breaks out from time to time in the district. The Board are also considering the establishment of a cottage hospital. A suitable and convenient water supply for the scattered people of this extensive and rocky district is of the first importance if their health is to be secured, but it is a matter of very great difficulty, quite apart from the poverty of the ratepayers. It is practically impossible to provide water within a convenient distance of every house, and in the absence of such a supply it is very hard to prevent people using water from doubtful sources. Both the Congested Districts Board and the Local Government Board are fully alive to the facts of the case and will do all they can within their legal powers for these poor people, and any suggestions the hon. Member may wish to make will receive my most careful consideration.