§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY OF LANCASTER (THE EARL OF CRAWFORD)
My Lords, at the present moment the statutory limit for support of public libraries in Ireland is 1d. in the £,1½d being allowed in certain specified boroughs. This Bill proposes to extend that limit for the purposes of all the Library Acts of Ireland from 1855 to 1911. At present the 1d. limit is quite incommensurate with the needs of the libraries, especially in the great towns. In the City of Dublin, for instance, the library and the art gallery will have to be closed unless further authorisation to raise money is allowed. This Bill proposes to substitute 3d. in the £ as a normal limit for the present figure; and empowers the Local Government Board to authorise the extension of this figure in certain county boroughs where necessary. In this country there is no limitation upon the amount that may be expended. The matter is urgent, because, under the present limitation, some of the libraries and public museums are in immediate danger of being closed for lack of funds.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Earl of Crawford.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.