§ Sir A. KNOX
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the number of cottages provided for rural workers in Ireland under various Acts from 1883 to 1922; the total cost to the Imperial Exchequer; the average extent of garden land attached to each cottage; and the average rent paid by the occupier of each cottage?
§ Mr. AMERY
The Returns to the House of Commons No. 280 and 281 of 1915 give much of the information asked for in the question up to 1915. The Returns were interrupted by the War, and no subsequent Returns of this nature have been compiled.
Up to the 31st March, 1920, the total number of cottages in Ireland authorised under the Labourers Acts was 54,060, and the number actually provided was 47,966. The rents in 1919–20 amounted to £150,957 15s. 3d.; the average rent would therefore appear to be approximately 63s. 1735W per annum. It is not possible to say what the total cost to the Exchequer of these cottages was. I regret that no further figures regarding operation under these Acts are at present availably in this country.
Under the Irish Land (Provision for Sailors and Soldiers) Act, 1919, and Section 3 of the Irish Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act, 1922, there have been provided or are being provided by the Irish Sailors and Soldiers Land Trust in rural districts in Ireland 1,379 cottages at a total cost of £1,100,000 to the Exchequer. These cottages are provided for ex-service men irrespective of their profession or trade, and are therefore not necessarily occupied by rural workers. The figures are exclusive of cottages provided by the Trust in suburban and urban districts.