§ Mr. DEVLIN
asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention has been called to the delay in providing a labourer's cottage for Robert Smith, of Ballylunnin, Ahoghill, county Antrim; and whether he will have inquiries made into the matter with a view to accelerating the erection of the cottage referred to?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am informed that a cottage was proposed for Robert Smith in the last improvement scheme made by the Ballymena Rural District Council under the Labourers (Ireland) Acts, and authorised by the Local Government Board's inspector, but the occupier of the land lodged an appeal to the County Court against the inspector's order. Subsequently another occupier of land in the neighbourhood agreed to give an alternative site, and the inspector's order, with this modification, was confirmed by the County Court on 20th April last. No doubt influenced by the largely increased cost of building materials occasioned by the War, the council have not so far taken any steps to carry into effect any portion of the scheme; and in view of the importance of curtailing capital expenditure at the present juncture, the Local Government Board are not prepared to move in the matter.