MR. MAC NEILL
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether Boards of Guardians in Ireland are empowered, as similar Bodies are in England, to defray out of the rates the cost of supplying the inmates of workhouses with newspapers, periodicals, and books; whether he is aware that the President of the Local Government Board in England has directed that the Inspectors of the Local Government Board shall be 1149 instructed, in connection with their visits to workhouses, to give this subject their special attention, and to report to the Board as to the views and practice of the Guardians with respect to such supply; whether he will give, if he can do so legally, similar directions to Local Government Board Inspectors in Ireland; and whether, if the law in Ireland is in this respect different from the law in England, the Government will introduce a measure for the assimilation of the law in Ireland to the law in England on this subject?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
There is no enactment specifically authorising Boards of Guardians to provide a supply of literature for workhouse inmates from the rates, though it is possible they may have such authority under their general powers. I am aware of the action taken in England referred to in the second paragraph. I am causing similar action to be taken in Ireland, and shall give the whole matter careful consideration.