§ MR. DEVLIN (Belfast, W.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he could state what steps were being taken to alleviate the distress at present existing 71 amongst the working classes in Lurgan and Portadown; whether the distress was due to any particular cause or was affecting any particular class of workers; and whether he would consider the advisability of communicating with the local authorities in these two towns with a view to the devising of some means other than soup kitchens supported out of private subscriptions for the alleviation of the distress.
(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) Voluntary measures are being taken by the local people to alleviate the distress which exists in the two towns referred to. The Local Government Board understand that the distress is caused by the great depression at present existing in the linen industries, and that it affects the operatives in those industries and in the allied trades. No representations have been made to the Board by the local people, who appear to be satisfied that the voluntary measures which are being taken to supplement the Poor Law are sufficient to cope with the distress.