§ 3. £2,764, to complete the sum for the Household of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
§ (10.25.) MR. MORTON
Under ordinary circumstances I should have opposed this Vote, as I consider the expenditure a waste of Imperial funds which ought not to continue. There is a cost of £4,764 for the household, as well as £20,000 out of the Consolidated Fund for the Lord Lieutenant. Then there is the Chief Secretary. We give a much smaller sum to a similar officer in Scotland, and yet Scotland is much better ruled than Ireland. I do not see why the Lord Lieutenant requires all these attendants—State steward, chaplain, reading clerk, organist, and so on—and I do not see why they should be paid for at the cost of the British taxpayer. I hope the time will speedily come when it will be put an end to.
§ DR. TANNER
Nobody can help thinking that this office is simply a gorgeous sham, and, as a matter of fact, 974 all these gentlemen who draw salaries in connection with the office of Lord Lieutenant are at this moment congregated in a small area in the West End of London. They were brought to London under the personal guidance of the gentleman who has for a long time held the office of Master of the Horse to the Lord Lieutenant. I have nothing to say against this gentleman; in fact, they are all very nice gentlemen; but from the Private Secretary down to the Keeper of the Chapel, the establishment is a fraud, a delusion, and a snare as regards government. What is the object of keeping up the Chapel in Dublin Castle? The total cost is £335; and though I would say nothing against the present chaplain, of whom everyone speaks well, the Chapel is a fraud, and ought to be done away with. If some of these long salaries of gentlemen who do not want them could be curtailed and the money given to the poor we should be beginning at the right end and doing away with what ninety-nine sensible people out of a hundred consider to be a fraud.
§ Vote agreed to.
4. Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £29,060, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1893, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Offices of the thief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant in Dublin and London, and Subordinate Departments.
I see in this Vote there is a sum for the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries. I believe they are responsible for the keeping of the Deep Sea Fishery Laws. Since the fishery laws in Scotland have prohibited steam trawling within a certain distance of the shore, there has been an exodus of the steam trawlers to the coasts of Ireland. I do not say that is a bad thing when they do not come sufficiently near the shore to injure local inshore fishing. What I would like to know is what is the machinery by which the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries control those new boats that have arrived. I asked a question on the subject about six weeks 975 ago, and was told that about twenty of these boats had arrived. I want to know what is the machinery by which the Chief Secretary, through the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries, sees that they do not poach within the limits? I really think the Chief Secretary ought to bring in a Bill assimilating the Irish law to the Scotch law, but that question does not arise at present. I want to know if there are a sufficient number of gunboats employed—are they sufficiently at the disposal of the Inspectors of Fisheries, and have they any other machinery for seeing that these large boats do not fish too close to the shore in certain places? The Chief Secretary, I know, might give these large boats a licence to fish in certain places of the kind. That is the Scotch and French law. I have no objection to these large boats, except where they are injurious to local fishermen. I do not think there is any necessity for the employment of large gunboats there. A gunboat with fifteen or sixteen men would be quite large enough for the purpose. The second question I have to ask has nothing whatever to do with fisheries—it is with regard to the Veterinary Department. The Veterinary Department is one of great importance in Ireland, and affords the greatest scope for the display of veterinary skill or administration. The fact is that through Ireland generally the veterinary work is very well done. There is extremely little pleuro-pneumonia through the whole of Ireland. I believe in that respect Ireland is better off than the greater part of England; but there is one district which requires very careful watching, and that is the Dublin scheduled district. I wish to know who is the veterinary officer advising the Government, and how much he is paid? He ought to be a first-class veterinary surgeon, and one who has shown some capacity for administration; because this is not a question of veterinary science alone, but a question of administration.
§ (10.35.) MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)
In accordance with the usage of Parliament this Vote affords every year a constitutional opportunity for challenging the policy of the administration of the Government in Ireland. We 976 have used the opportunity on every occasion in recent years, and we have learned by sad experience the futility of such challenge and the uselessness of any appeal to the House of Commons as at present constituted. During the past five years since the present Government came into power, the Constitution of Ireland has been destroyed, and every right of the community and of the individual has been violated, invaded, and suppressed. Time after time we have discharged our functions, as the Representatives of the Irish people in this House, in calling attention to the excesses and abuses of which the Government and their subordinates in Ireland have been guilty. We have been encountered by a very simple and very effectual system. When we complained of the action of any official from the highest to the lowest the truth of our charge was denied; the word of the peccant official was taken as conclusive in regard to the charge against him. All redress was denied to us—all inquiry refused. The complainants were advised to betake themselves to a Court of Law; and when they did betake themselves to a Court of Law the public purse was employed by the present Government to dispute not only the merits of the case, but to take advantage of every technical point of law against them. Our unbroken experience from year to year has been that the mechanical majority of the Government came in from other parts of the building to vote down Amendments which they had not considered, and to discountenance complaints which they had not taken the trouble to listen to. I think it must be obvious that it would be useless for me or for anyone to attempt to give any practical or serious character to the proceedings now before the Chair. If we were disposed on the present occasion to enter into details of the Irish Government we could usefully occupy at least, I should think, a week, so far as usefulness can be supposed to attach to the truthful exposure of the shortcomings and misdoings of the Government in Ireland. The effect would be that we should delay the Dissolution by a week. We have learned from the First Lord of the Treasury this afternoon that the date of 977 the Dissolution would depend upon the completion of certain business which had to be discussed by the House. I do not desire to delay the Dissolution by a week; I do not desire to delay the Dissolution by a moment. I desire to hasten the Dissolution, and to bring it about at the earliest possible date. I am convinced, as I have said before, of the futility of appealing to the House. Under these circumstances, so far as in my power lies, I shall facilitate the despatch of business and the appeal to the people in what I think is the most practical way I can—namely, by addressing no further observations to the House, either on this Vote or on any other Irish Vote in the Irish Estimates for the year.
§ (10.39.) MR. JACKSON
The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Galway asked me some questions about the Irish Fishery Department and about the Veterinary Department. With reference to the Fisheries, it is no doubt true that the Fishery Inspectors are charged in a general sort of way with the care of all the fishing industry; but I do not know that they are specially charged with such interests as are indicated by the hon. and gallant Gentleman.
§ MR. JACKSON
They have to make regulations, and they see as far as they can that they are carried out.
§ MR. JACKSON
Somebody. Of course any vessel that transgresses the regulations is liable to a penalty. We have in Ireland one or two gunboats, and we have recently sent over gunboats to carry out the regulations that have been made. With regard to the Veterinary Department, the hon. and gallant Gentleman asked me who was the adviser on these important questions. The Chief Inspector is the adviser, of course, on these important questions. He has a thoroughly competent staff to assist him. There is no doubt that the hon. and gallant Gentleman did not in the least exaggerate the very great importance of this subject; and I may say 978 that since I have been in my present office I have been moved with the most grave considerations as regards dealing with the question of pleuro-pneumonia in the Dublin scheduled district. Everything is being done that skill can devise. We have been kept in constant touch with the Agricultural Department in England. I have had the advantage of the assistance of the Minister of Agriculture and of his advisers in conference over and over again. I have arranged a system under which I receive every morning telegraphic information as to whether there is any fresh outbreak, or any fresh news, or whether there are any fresh instructions to be given. We have not succeeded even yet in stamping out the disease in the Dublin scheduled district. I am sorry to say that yesterday we had notice of an outbreak; and two or throe days ago we had one. But we are doing everything we know in order, in the first place, to try and confine the disease to one district, and, in the second place, to try and stamp out the disease. On this point I may say there have been complaints made about the sanitary condition of some of the dairy yards in Dublin. The Corporation, who are the Sanitary Authority, have been hampered for some time by a decision which was given, and which seemed to cast some doubt upon their power. On appeal that decision has been reversed, and now I am glad to say we are receiving from the Corporation active assistance in order to try and improve the sanitary condition of those cowsheds and dairy yards; and I assure the Committee that this is a matter of the utmost concern to me. I recognise to the full that Ireland depends for its prosperity to such a large extent upon its cattle and the freedom of exporting its cattle, that we should be seriously wanting in our duty if we failed to take advantage of every opportunity and every means to try and stamp out this disease. My hope is that we may be able to keep the disease within the Dublin scheduled area; my hope is that day by day we are making progress, and that there will be a final stamping out of the disease even in that district itself.
(10.45.) COLONEL NOLAN
I think the Chief Secretary is impressed with the extreme importance of the questions I have raised, especially the latter. But he did not answer the question I asked, as to who is the Irish veterinary adviser?
Is he a Veterinary Inspector? It does not follow that an Inspector at a port is a veterinary surgeon. I do not think the Chief Secretary attaches quite enough importance to fixing responsibility with regard to trawling. His answer to me seems to indicate that everybody in general might look after trawling.
What is looked after to a certain extent is everybody's business, and what is everybody's business is generally nobody's business. If it be advisable to enforce this law somebody should be responsible, and they should have machinery to enforce it.
§ (10.48.) DR. TANNER
It was with a certain amount of surprise, and not with satisfaction, that I heard the expression of the Chief Secretary that somebody looked after the trawling in a general sort of way. That is the way in which the Irish business is carried out. The Veterinary Department consists of three gentlemen. Who are these gentlemen? What are their ages? I ventured to bring the matter forward the other day in the form of a question, when it was pointed out that one of these gentlemen was pitchforked into the position. You have got pleuro-pneumonia raging in Dublin; you have got the most unsatisfactory state of affairs announced by the First Lord of the Treasury in consequence of the failure of this Veterinary Department. You have got two young nincompoops, and you have got a kind of a naval man or sailor, who could not be expected to 980 know anything about the diseases of cattle. I say two of these three gentlemen are young boys. How they got into this responsible position nobody knows. How this naval man was pitchforked into the position nobody knows. I must say from all I have heard from responsible authorities in Ireland that there can be no doubt that the officers of the Veterinary Department are incompetent to deal with the questions that arise, and it is altogether a disgrace to the Department and the Chief Secretary that they should hold their present positions. With regard to the inspection of lunatic asylums, I have raised the question of the Board of Control of the Cork Lunatic Asylum, and I want to know if anything has been done on that question? The Governors of the Cork Lunatic Asylum do not represent the ratepayers there. I would also point out that the abolition of the office of visiting physician in Cork is, in itself, a shame and a scandal. I believe the matter ought to be looked into by the Government, and if it is looked into I believe we shall have a visiting physician appointed again as he was heretofore. There is yet another question which I feel it necessary to raise. I called attention to the difficulty of dealing with the Irish fisheries in consequence of the inroads made on the mackerel and hake fishing on our Southern Coast. The right hon. Gentleman did not think on the last occasion when I raised the matter that I was thoroughly correct in what I said. I have here, accordingly, a cutting from the Cork Daily Herald, which is the only paper in the South of Ireland that deals with the case of these fisheries. It says:—The attention of the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries and of the Government has been directed to a practice which, if permitted to continue unchecked, must have most serious consequences for the fishing industry on the Southern Coasts. Briefly stated, it is caused by boats engaging in the herring fishing at an unseasonably early period of the year. The result of this is that with the herring captured there is annually destroyed an enormous quantity of immature mackerel and haak. The ultimate result must be the practical annihilation of the mackerel and haak fishery on those coasts on which the herring fishery is being pursued under such destructive 981 conditions. The people of Kinsale seem to have become fully alive to the importance of this matter to that well-known fishing port, and the apprehensions to which they give expression appear to be entirely warranted by the facts. Off their fishing grounds the killing of young fish, as an incident of the herring fishery, has developed to an alarming extent, with the natural result of serious deterioration in the larger and more lucrative industry. And what makes the grievance the more galling is that those who carry on the destructive trade most vigorously are not local fishermen at all, nor even are they Irishmen. There are at present fifty Scotch boats engaged in herring fishing off the Kinsale coast, while there are but a few, possibly half a dozen, from Kinsale or any Irish port. So that the Kinsale people have the mortification of seeing the great industry on which they so largely depend year by year suffering deep and lasting injury through the cupidity of strangers. Of course, the bad example of the Scotch invaders is apt to prove contagions, and local fishermen may well be tempted to take their share of what is going, regardless of the consequences, when they see the havoc wrought by others in order to secure a very moderate amount of gain. But the present position of Irish fishermen in reference to the matter is excessively unsatisfactory. For it appears that as the law stands there is no legal remedy whatever for their grievance, and that no action can be taken to prevent the scandalous and ruinous operations of the Scotch fishermen. But, unfortunately, the Inspectors feel that they have no power to deal with the matter, and, indeed, venture the opinion that the Government can do nothing under existing legislation. The herring fishery is in operation at places from six to twenty miles from the shore, and the jurisdiction of the Fishery Commissioners extends, as everyone knows, no further than three miles. It would, therefore, appear that, unless some further legislation be enacted, the Scotch fishermen remain masters of the situation, and the practices which the fishery inspectors describe as 'most injurious' will go on unchecked. The Government is prepared to go any lengths to maintain the seal fishery in Behring's Sea, and the Newfoundland lobsters have almost cost England a colony. Surely it is not too much to expect that the Ministry will not find any insuperable difficulty in controlling the operations of a Scotch fishing fleet on the Irish Coast. But if the Government should decline to interfere or to hold out a hand for the protection of an important industry so seriously threatened, the people of Kinsale may be driven to considering whether they are wholly helpless in the matter, or whether they may not be able to put those who are inflicting injury on them to such considerable inconvenience as to induce them to desist.These last remarks certainly deal with the French fishermen. There is no use beating the air—at the same time it is well to bring these points forward in 982 order that we may have some little expression of opinion upon them. One of the most recent appointments as Inspector is that of the Rev. Mr. Green, a Protestant clergyman from Cork. I am at a loss to know why he was appointed. In Ireland the Government always try to fish out some Protestant to the exclusion of Catholics, and usually some supporter of their own in opposition to the national feeling of nine-tenths of the population. ("No!") Who says "No?" It is perfectly true Probably it was the hon. Member for South Hunts (Mr. Smith Barry), who will soon go to the House of Lords. We can afford to pass these expressions by.
§ (11.4.) MR. JACKSON
The hon. Member has spoken about the Veterinary Department; and I can only repeat what I said the other day, that I think the highest praise is due to the Veterinary Department for the energetic and active steps they have taken in order to—
§ MR. JACKSON
In order to deal with pleuro-pneumonia. The hon. Member has referred to the sanitary condition of some of the cowsheds; but I have already stated, in answer to the hon. Member for Galway, that the most active steps are being taken, and I am glad to have an opportunity of saying that the Corporation are actively seconding our efforts. I hope the result will prove a great improvement in the sanitary and general condition of the district. The hon. Member asked for the names of the Inspectors. I take it there are certain duties to be discharged at the port by any individual who follows his instructions. That has nothing to do with the Veterinary Department, which is responsible for dealing with this question, not only in Dublin, but in every other part of Ireland. I can say from my own personal knowledge that for some months past the Department has put on enormous pressure in endeavouring to deal with the work that comes to its hand.
§ DR. TANNER
One of the three gentlemen appointed to inspect horses, and cattle is a naval gentleman.
§ MR. JACKSON
I am quite sure they are thoroughly competent for their work, and discharge their duties in a most efficient manner. They are now working day and night most loyally, and efficiently discharging their most important duties, and it is a very bad reward for the extreme efforts they are making that such a moment should be selected to make such remarks. The hon. Member referred to the Fishery Inspectors, and to the question of the catching of immature mackerel by herring nets at Kinsale. The question has been before me in many ways, and I think it is desirable that the date at which herring fishing begins should be reasonably late, to prevent, as far as possible, the killing of immature fish. There has been some improvement made in that respect.
§ MR. JACKSON
I do not know the name of the gunboats, but they have one or two. The hon. Member for Cork referred to the Fishery Inspectors, and slightingly of one Fishery Inspector, than whom I venture to say there is no man more competent and more enthusiastic in his work in the world.
§ DR. TANNER
I never spoke slightingly of the Rev. Mr. Green, but this much I say: that in Ireland I think it is a mistake—and I say it as an Irish Protestant—to select an Irish Protestant clergyman, when you have such a vast field of Irish Catholics to select from.
§ MR. JACKSON
I am glad to have drawn from the hon. Member even that acknowledgment. I believe it is the universal opinion in Ireland, Protestant and Catholic alike, that there is no man in the whole of Ireland who knows more on the subject and devotes himself more assiduously to his duties than the Rev. Mr. Green. I have had an opportunity of seeing something of his work, and during the last six months, when the Fishery Inspectors have been shorthanded, his duties have been largely increased. He is a member of the Congested Districts Board; he is one of the Fishery Inspectors; he has undertaken personally to conduct the most successful and important experi- 984 ment that has been made in Galway, and I say the highest praise is due certainly from every Member of the Irish Government to Mr. Green for the great services he has rendered. I do not think it is necessary for me to say more than that, but I certainly think so much is due to Mr. Green.
With regard to this question of gunboats, I would ask the Chief Secretary if he would give me a promise to have these fisheries looked after as much as the Scotch Office look after the Scotch fisheries, and to have a few fast gunboats placed on the station?
§ MR. JACKSON
I have no hesitation in promising the hon. and gallant Gentleman that I will do everything in my power to try and protect the interests of the Irish fisheries.
§ (11.14.) MR. MAURICE HEALY
I think it is unfair for the right hon. Gentleman to charge the hon. Member for Mid Cork with having spoken slightingly of the Rev. Mr. Green. I certainly understood that he has done nothing of that kind. So far as my information goes the Rev. Mr. Green has discharged his duties in a very efficient manner, and I only wish the Government would fill their appointments with gentlemen who are as efficient as Mr. Green. We hear that Sir Thomas Brady's place is to be filled by Mr. Cecil Rhodes. If Mr. Cecil Rhodes is a specimen of the Irish Catholics you have got to fill positions of this kind, all I say is, give me Irish Protestants like Mr. Green. Of course, I do not intend to continue the discussion on this point; but I may point out that the Government three years ago, I think, passed an Act giving English Local Bodies very extensive powers for the management of sea fisheries, and created Fishery Boards around the whole of the English Coast. I wish to support what has been said with regard to Irish fisheries. There is, however, another matter to which I wish to refer, and that is the abolition of the office of visiting physician to Irish lunatic asylums. There is something like an agitation all over Ireland in regard to this question, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to 985 make some statement with reference to it. The Irish people were very much surprised to learn that this change had taken place without any demand for it so far as they were concerned. I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that twenty years ago a Royal Commission reported in the strongest manner as to the advisability of continuing the office of visiting physician to Irish lunatic asylums. No one is in favour of its abolition, so far as I can see, except the managers of such institutions. It appears to me to be absolutely necessary that such inspection should be continued in order to provide against abuses. I do not suggest that the managers of the asylums are not men to be trusted, or that any impropriety takes place in their institutions, but abuses may arise unless there is some outside inspection. As the medical profession are against the abolition of the office of inspecting physician, I trust the right hon. Gentleman will make some statement on the subject.
§ (11.19.) MR. JACKSON
No doubt the question which the hon. Gentleman has raised has created some amount of interest in Ireland. There has been a good deal of inquiry into the subject, and not very long ago a Committee which was appointed reported that the whole system of visiting physicians was not the best form of giving protection to the patients in the asylums. I cannot, however, say that the question is closed, because it is, in fact, still under consideration. So far as I have been able to judge, the balance of evidence is in favour of calling in specialists to deal with particular cases as they arise. The Committee may rest assured that we shall endeavour, as far as possible, to arrive at the best solution of the difficulty, and that no definite action will be taken except on the strongest evidence.
§ (11.22.) DR. TANNER
I have listened with some curiosity and interest to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman. The medical superintendents of such institutions should not have the power of calling in whom they please. It would not be to the advantage of the asylums or the inmates, and it would entail more expense than the 986 present system of visiting physicians. The right hon. Gentleman showed a great deal of common sense when at the Treasury; but since he has undertaken the office of Chief Secretary to Ireland, he has not gone into the matter in such a rational way as formerly. He ought not to have taken advice from the authorities at Dublin Castle upon this subject. He should at once have seen that it would not be advisable to supersede the visiting physicians, or to leave it to the medical superintendents of the asylums to call in whom they pleased. I must now say a few words with regard to the Rev. Mr. Green. I have the honour of knowing him, and I wish to say that I had no idea of speaking slightingly with regard to him. I had heard various criticisms about his appointment, and I simply laid them before the Committee. I would like to know why the right hon. Gentleman attempted to ride off upon this side issue? There were no less than fourteen competent veterinary surgeons to select from, and yet the Rev. Mr. Green was chosen as Inspector. That is the way in which business is being done in Ireland. I say that the money to be spent in stamping out pleuro-pneumonia in Ireland will be largely wasted for lack of competent advice, of which there is plenty to be had if only the Government would avail themselves of it.
§ (11.27.) MR. MORTON
It appears to me to be somewhat extraordinary that the Rev. Mr. Green should have been selected as an Inspector in Ireland. In this country we consider that ministers of the Gospel are not qualified to act as Inspectors of Fisheries. We hear of them as being sometimes well-qualified in regard to hunting, racing, and sporting generally, but not to act as business-like officials. I should have liked to have had a few hours for the purpose of discussing this Vote, with regard to the actual expenditure itself; but as there is no time for doing that, I will only say that there is an immense waste of money going on under the present Government. I wish now to ask the right hon. Gentleman a question with regard to Mrs. Montagu. Her case is one which has created some little feeling 987 in this country as well as in Ireland. I am aware that it could be considered on the Prisons Vote; but still we know very well, especially in regard to Ireland—
§ THE CHAIRMAN (Mr. COURTNEY,) Cornwall, Bodmin
This subject can be properly considered under the Prisons Vote.
§ MR. MORTON
I wish to complain of the right hon. Gentleman's conduct. The account of the Prisons Board really—
§ MR. MORTON
Very well. Then I will discuss it under the Prisons Vote. I will only say that in regard to this other Vote that it is particularly extravagant. There appears to be an immense sum wasted in Ireland, which I hope, in the interests of the taxpayers, we shall before many months elapse have an opportunity of considering and reducing.
§ DR. TANNER
The Chief Secretary just now attempted to answer what I advanced against one of his Inspectors. He told me that he was a Port Inspector. On page 181 there is additional illustration of what I attempted to point out. I am in a position to prove that the Inspector is a traveling Inspector at a salary of £300 per year. I really must complain of the attitude taken up by the Chief Secretary, who evidently has attempted to mislead the Committee by telling it—a
§ DR. TANNER
I say that one of these two travelling Inspectors is a Navy man, who draws a salary of £300 per year. The Chief Secretary told us that he was an Inspector at ports, which he said was a sort of duty for 988 which naval men were competent. In that way he mixes up two offices which are entirely distinct. The gentleman whose salary I drew attention to is a travelling Inspector; and in order to emphasise that fact, I beg to move a reduction of £300.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item K, Veterinary Department, be reduced by £300."—(Dr. Tanner.)
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ 5. £1,297, to complete the sum for Charitable Donations and Bequests Office, Ireland.
§ 6. £103,792, to complete the sum for the Local Government Board in Ireland.
There are a couple of points to which I should like to draw the attention of the Attorney General for Ireland. There is one matter in connection with the workhouses that we feel anxious about—and that is the bringing up of the children in the workhouse. Everything else in connection with Irish workhouses is admirably well done. In Ireland we do our best to bring the children up well, but I doubt whether the atmosphere of the workhouse is a good one. It is not that they become immoral children; it is that they do not like work, and are fond of returning to the workhouse. I think the Government might allow the workhouses to admit children into the industrial schools. Of course, all children cannot be committed to the industrial schools, but I think that many of those who stay in the workhouses until they are thirteen or fourteen years of age might be admitted. I think the form of committing an offence as a ground of committal might, in regard to workhouse children, be dispensed with, and the children admitted for a small contribution. There is another point I wish to ask the Attorney General to recommend to the Chief Secretary; and I think it is one ripe for consideration. It is in regard to the fees charged by medical officers in Ireland, and there is also the question of pensions. We get half the salary, but we do not get the pensions. I think if 989 the Government would take into consideration the possibility of paying half the pensions, we should be more inclined to pension the medical officers off. As to the fees charged by medical officers. Up to two or three years ago the doctors used to charge £1 for a few visits. On the other hand, a man moderately well off, by getting a red ticket from the workhouse authority could compel the doctor to attend for nothing. In England you have sixpenny, one shilling, two shillings and sixpenny, and five shillings doctors; but in parts of Ireland up to three or four years ago these were almost unknown. The Local Government Board ought to initiate some system by which the workhouse authorities could by the issue of tickets secure that the fee should be two shillings and sixpence or five shillings.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN,) Dublin University
The matter referred to by the hon. and gallant Member is one which has from time to time engaged my attention during the last few years. I have always thought that the system under which children who are inmates of workhouses are transferred to industrial schools is not a satisfactory one, and is capable of improvement. It is a matter I shall be glad to consider, but there are statutory conditions to be dealt with. As to the other two matters referred to, they will not require legislation. I may say that I will take the earliest opportunity of conferring with my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary upon these questions.
§ DR. TANNER
One other matter to which I should like to call the attention of the Committee on this Vote is that of labourers' cottages. I have addressed to the Chief Secretary a series of questions on this subject, as I find that is a far better plan for getting information than on the occasion of a Vote of this sort, which is taken at twelve o'clock at night. I should like to know how it is that there are only 72 labourers' cottages built in the whole Province of Ulster? I have a whole batch of communications here from that province complaining of this 990 state of things. In reply to one of my questions, the Chief Secretary told me that the Ulster landlords behaved so well to their labourers that there was no trouble whatever with regard to labourers' cottages. Well, Sir, I have numerous letters from County Antrim, South Tyrone, North Armagh, and from other places, stating that a more gratuitous insult was never offered to the Irish labourers. As a matter of fact, in the Ballymena district there are upwards of 350 labourers who are not properly housed. To substantiate my statement I refer to Reports of the Medical Inspectors, who state that many of the cottages occupied by these people are unfit for human habitation. If we do not try to remove the wrongs from which these men are suffering they will by organisation do so themselves. They are already doing something in this respect, as many Ulster Members will find to their cost before long. I do hope, whether the tenure of office of the present Chief Secretary is short or long—and the shorter the better for those poor people—that an investigation will be made into this matter.
§ MR. MADDEN
I must point out to the hon. Member that the initiative in this matter does not rest with the Local Government Board. The Local Government Board, however, have power to send down an Inspector to institute inquiries; and in cases where the Local Authorities responsible have not, in their opinion, responded to any reasonable request for the erection of labourers' cottages, the Act can then be administered by the Local Government Board. I will communicate with my right hon. Friend on this matter, and. I am sure he will inquire into any case in which it appears the Boards of Guardians have failed to do their duty in this particular.
§ DR. TANNER
I shall take the earliest opportunity of putting the Chief Secretary in possession of facts relating to the necessity for the erection of labourers' cottages in Ireland.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 7. £4,001, to complete the sum for the Public Record Office, Ireland.991
8. Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £15,539, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1893, for the Salaries and Expenses in the Department of the Registrar General of Births, &c., and the Expenses of Collecting Agricultural and other Statistics in Ireland.
*SIR JOHN GORST
I am going to move the reduction of this Vote by £3,000, because the officers entrusted with the Irish Census have carried out their duties in so admirable a manner that the Returns will be completed in a shorter time than was expected. It was thought that the staff would be employed on the work till October of the present year; but I am informed that their labours will not extend beyond the 30th June. A saving of £3,000 will, therefore, be effected on the Estimate; and it is in order to mark publicly the valuable service thus rendered I move the reduction of the Vote by the amount I have named.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a reduced sum, not exceeding £12,539, be granted for the said Service."—(Sir John Gorst.)
§ MR. SEXTON
I think the course proposed is not only unusual, but it is very objectionable. The item to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred is for incompleted service. The work does not expire till September, and it is impossible at the present moment to say what will be the expenditure. What justification is there for the proposed alteration? A more reasonable course would be to let the Estimate remain as it is, and if there is a surplus let it go into the ordinary channel. I see no justification for the proposal.
*SIR JOHN GORST
I am sorry I failed to make myself clear to the hon. Gentleman. When this Estimate was prepared it was supposed that the work would be completed on the 30th September this year, and the salaries to the temporary clerks and others engaged were calculated on that basis. It is now definitely and officially stated that the work will be completed by the 30th June, and therefore there is in the Estimates a quarter's salary for all these temporary clerks, 992 &c., that will not be wanted, and this makes a reduction of £3,000. If we had had in January last the knowledge which is now in our possession the Estimates presented would have been £3,000 less. I am only asking the Committee to pass the Vote for the sum of money which is necessary for the purpose for which it is designed. The hon. Member for Belfast says, Why not vote more money than is required—
*SIR JOHN GORST
But if we vote more money than is required we are simply taking money out of the pockets of the taxpayers. It would be utterly indefensible for us to take £3,000 which is not required. The hon. Member says that if this money is voted and not spent it would go into the surplus in the ordinary way. But if the money is voted and not spent and goes into the surplus, it will be applied to the reduction of the National Debt; and I maintain that we have no right to ask for a sum of money which we know will not be wanted, in order that it may go into the surplus.
§ MR. SEXTON
Do I understand that the officer in charge of the Department is satisfied that the money will not be required?
§ MR. SEXTON
The right hon. Gentleman did not by any means make that clear in his first speech. If it is merely a question of not paying a quarter's salary to some persons who will be disengaged, I raise no opposition.
§ DR. TANNER
I suppose the work has been completed earlier than you thought, because of the policy of emigration and extermination which has been pursued by the Government. The Census shows that there are a quarter of a million fewer persons in Ireland, and this is owing to the abominable policy you have pursued in our country.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 9. £5,237, to complete the sum for Valuation and Boundary Survey, Ireland.