§ COLONEL COLTHURST
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, in view of the possibility of severe distress during the coming months in certain districts in Ireland, he will consider the advisability of giving to the Local Government Board the same power of dealing with exceptional distress in individual unions by provisional orders with regard to outdoor relief, which is possessed by the Local Government Board in England?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
It is not in the power of the Government to authorize the Local Government Board for Ireland to make orders with regard to outdoor relief, other than the orders specified in the 2nd section of the Act 10 Vict., c. 31, under which section the Local Government Board can only empower a Board of Guardians to administer outdoor relief to able-bodied men and their families when the workhouse is full or, by reason of fever or infectious disease, unfit for the reception of poor persons. That rule can only be altered by an Act of Parliament. The Local Government Board are making inquiries as to apprehended distress in certain districts to which special attention has been called, and the reports on the subject which they obtain shall have very careful and anxious consideration; but from the information received up to the present there do not appear to be any grounds for arriving at the conclusion that the relief which may be afforded under the existing Poor Law Acts will be found insufficient for the wants of the destitute poor during the coming winter. The Irish Government are in daily consultation with regard to the apprehended distress, which is never out of their minds; and I can assure 1310 the House that no calamity will occur from any obstinate adherence to theory on the part of the Executive Government.
§ COLONEL COLTHURST
My object in asking the Question was that the Government should take power of legislating upon the subject.