§ Mr. FLAVIN
asked the Chief Secretary whether he can state why in Banbridge Rural District Council only 105 cottages have been built out of 167 authorised, in Castlereagh Rural District Council only, 21 built out of 71 authorised, in Hillsborough Rural District Council only 75 built out of 159, and in Moira Rural District Council only 129 built out of 197 authorised; whether he can state why those cottages have not been built although they have been authorised for several years; and whether he can state if the administration expenses for cottages in the Moira Rural District Council amounts to £89 as compared with £6 15s. per average in the Listowel Rural District Council?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The cottages referred to in the first paragraph of the question which were not built on the 31st March, 1913, have not been "authorised for several years," and, with the exception of Castlereagh, are nearly all included in Orders made in 1912, but in respect of which the arbitrators' awards were only made at different periods of the year 1913. In the case of Castlereagh, the award was made in June, 1912. Any delay which has occurred has been due to the difficulty of getting contractors at reasonable prices, to the unwillingness of the councils to proceed unless they obtained on land purchase terms, not merely the £170 per cottage as fixed by the Local Government Board, but the total amount of money required by them, and to considering the question of amending the plans with a view to reducing the cost. This is now being done in the case of Moira Rural District, but in the other districts tenders have now been accepted for nearly all the cottages authorised. The comparison made in the last part of the question is apparently based upon Parliamentary Return, No. 193, of 1906, which gives particulars of the entire cost of the last completed scheme in each district before the Act of 1906 was passed.