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Questions And Answers Circulated With The Votes

Volume 178: debated on Tuesday 16 July 1907

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Publication Of Report Of Inquiry Into Bay Of Firth (Orkney) Oyster Order

To ask the Secretary for Scot- land when the Report of the Commissioner who held an inquiry upon the Oyster Order for the Bay of Firth, Orkney, may be expected. (Answered by) Mr. Sinclair.) The Report referred to by the hon. Member was prepared by an officer of the Fishery Board solely for their information and guidance. It has not been customary to publish such Reports, and therefore this Report will not be published.

Dock Accommodation For Battleships On The East Coast

To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will state the number of docks on the east coast, north of Dover, capable of accommodating ships of the "Dreadnought," "Lord Nelson," and the "Inflexible" classes; and whether the approaches to these docks are in each case such as to allow of the passage of ships of the classes named at all states of the tide without involving more than the ordinary risks. (Answered by Mr. Edmund Robertson.) The only dock on the east coast capable of taking the "Dreadnought," "Lord Nelson," and "Invincible" class is Stephenson's, on the Tyne, which will accommodate these vessels under favourable conditions, and at moderately light draught. No. 9 dock at Chatham will take the "Invincible" and "Lord Nelson" classes.

Labourers Acts—Application Of Michael Delaney

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that an agricultural labourer, named Michael Delaney, sent in a representation under the Labourers Acts to the Mountmellick Rural District Council; that the house in which he at present resides was condemned by the medical officer of health as being unfit for human habitation; and that the rural district council assigned as a reason for rejection that the house in which Delaney lives is a freehold; and will he state whether there is anything in the Labourers Acts barring out from their benefits a man who owns a freehold house which the medical officer condemns as unfit for habitation. (Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The reason assigned by the rural district council for the rejection of Delaney's application was that he is a freeholder. If the applicant is an agricultural labourer, and does not hold land in addition to the house, he would not be debarred from the benefits of the Labourers Acts. The Local Government Board propose to draw the attention of the rural district council to this question, and to inform them of their views on the matter for future guidance.

Post Office Servants' Committee Report

To ask the Under-Secretary of State for India, as Chairman of the Select Committee on Postal Servants, whether he is able to state when the Report of that Committee will be presented to the House. (Answered by Mr. Hobhouse.) It is impossible to suggest an exact day for the presentation to the House of this Report, but no time is being lost in its preparation, which is being proceeded with as rapidly as possible.

Payment For Use Of Bell Rock, Skerryvore, And Dhu Heartach Rock

To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether any sum was paid for or for the use of the Bell Rock, Skerryvore, or the Dhu Heartach Rock, on which lighthouses now stand; and, if so, what in each ease was the amount so paid, and when, to whom, and by what lighthouse or other authority was it paid. (Answered by Mr. Lloyd-George.) I am informed by the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses that no sum was paid for or for the use of the Bell Rock, Skerryvore, or the Dhu Heartach Rock.

Loans To Irish Local Bodies For Public Work

To ask the Secretary to the Treasury when it is proposed to take into consideration the case made out by public bodies in Ireland for obtaining loans at 3¼ per cent. for objects of public work; and whether any relief of taxation arising from these loans at their present high rates of interest may be expected next year. (Answered by Mr. Runciman.) This subject will probably come up for discussion shortly on the Public Works Loans Bill, and I do not think it desirable to make any statement before then.

Kew Gardeners

To ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, if he has recently received resolutions from the Kew Employees Union and the Kew Guild, protesting against the gardeners at Kew being called apprentices; and, if so, will he state whether in the form of application for a situation as gardener at Kew, there is any reference whatever to the term apprentice; and, if not, will he see that the men are called gardeners in future by the Department. (Answered by Sir Edward Strachey.) The reply to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative, and to the second in the negative. The question of the most appropriate designation of the grade is now under consideration. Perhaps I may take this opportunity of saying that my use of the term "apprentice" has apparently been misunderstood. I used it in no derogatory sense, but merely to convey to the House the idea that the young gardeners in question were afforded opportunities of instruction and self-culture in an advanced school of horticulture.

Sunday Delivery Of Letters In The Riverstown Postal District

To ask the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the representations made to the late Postmaster on behalf of the residents of Brookhill, Butlers-town, Coolnacaha, Ballinrising, and Killydonoghue, situate in the Riverstown postal district, to the effect that it was essential and desirable that there should be a Sunday delivery of letters in these places; to the memorial in support of this claim; and to a resolution passed at the Cork Rural District Council in favour of a Sunday delivery in the districts mentioned; and will he state whether it is intended to comply with the wishes of the people in this matter. (Answered by Mr. Sydney Buxton.) My attention has been called to the application referred to by the hon. Member. I find that the existing postal service on weekdays to the places mentioned is carried on at a considerable 10s; and, in these circumstances, I do not feel justified in incurring additional expenditure for the purpose of establishing a Sunday post

Messrs John Brown And Co And Vickers, Sons, And Maxim And The Fair Wages Resolution

To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that the firms of John Brown and Company, Limited, and Vickers, Sons, and Maxim, of Sheffield, who contract for work with and supply material to the Admiralty, do not pay the standard rate of wages to the carpenters and joiners in their employ; and whether he will take steps to compel those firms to observe the Fair Wages Clause or otherwise to strike them off the list of Government contractors. (Answered by Mr. Edmund Robertson.) If the hon. Member will be good enough to furnish me with particulars of Admiralty contracts on which the firms named have not observed the Fair Wages Resolution I will have immediate inquiry made.

Police Note-Taker At Meeting At Newtownforbes

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland to state the reason which dictated the sending of a police note-taker to a peaceable and orderly meeting in Newtownforbes on Sunday, 7th July; and whether he was consulted on the adoption of this new departure in the case of Nationalist meetings in Ireland. (Answered by Mr. Birrell.) A police note-taker was sent to this meeting because there was good reason to appre- hend that illegal language would be used at it. This course was taken with my approval.

Sale Of The Douglas Estate, Longford

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that there are 1,500 acres of grazing land let to four eleven months tenants on the Douglas estate, in the parish of Clonquish, and near the town of Longford; whether he is aware that 1,200 people were cleared off this property in 1844–9 to make way for a plantation of Scotch graziers; whether he is aware that most of these planters failed, and that this land is still let on the English tenant system by Mr. Douglas, who is at the same time offering for sale to the tenants the uneconomic portions of his property on which a large population live in a state of chronic poverty; and will he direct that the Estates Commissioners will refuse to sanction the purchase of that portion unless the large grazing tract is also sold. (Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The Estates Commissioners have no information as to the matters of fact alleged in the Question. No proceedings for the sale of the estate appear to be pending before the Commissioners at present, but if such proceedings should be instituted the Commissioners will fully consider the facts of the case.

Relief Of Distress In Ireland

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the effect of the present weather upon crops in Ireland; whether he is aware that practically every crop is threatened with destruction owing to long continued wintry weather; and whether, in case of further losses in this direction, the Government will take some special steps to take special powers to relieve distress in the coming winter in Ireland. (Answered by Mr. Birrell.) I refer to the full statement on this subject which I made yesterday in reply to a Question put by the hon. Member for the Connemara Division. †

†See page 345;

Return Of Irish Departments (Cost, ║Income, And Expenditure)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he will grant the Return of Irish Departments (Cost, Income, and Expenditure), of which notice stands on the Order Paper, † (Answered by Mr. Birrell.) It would not be practicable to give a Return in the form in which it is asked for. I am, however, willing to give a Return on the subject, and will, in the course of a few days, communicate to the hon. Member the form of the Return which I am prepared to give, in order that he may move for it if he should be disposed to do so.

Evicted Tenants—Application Of A H Armstrong

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether A. H. Armstrong, now residing at Knock, Belfast, has applied to the Estates Commissioners to be restored to his late father's holding, situated at Billywood, Feagh Mullah, Kells, county Meath; and whether the Commissioners have approached the tenant at present in occupation of the farm with a view of purchasing his interest, and with what result. (Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The Estates Commissioners have received Mr. Armstrong's application, but have not yet taken any action in the case. The application will be considered in due course.

Great Western Railway And Conveyance Of Devonshire Volunteer Regiments To Camp

To ask the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the Great Western Railway have refused to carry

† Irish Departments (Cost, Income, and Expenditure). Return showing, for the latest completed financial year, the Cost, Income from all sources, and Expenditure of each of all the Irish State Departments, Boards, and Bodies, and the total Cost, Income, and Expenditure; and the total Payments and Expenditure for and in connection with land by the Congested Districts Board, the Land Commission, and the Estates Commissioners, respectively, with monetary return or capital value of set off, if any.
the Devon Volunteer battalions to camp on 3rd August next, and that, as the Great Western Railway is the only railway running near the camp ground, many of the battalions are at a loss to know how to get to the camp on the day named; whether he has any power to compel the railway company to carry these men; and, if not, is it possible for him to grant the men extra pay if they march into camp from stations farther away on the London and South Western Railway. (Answered by Mr. Secretary Haldane.) It appears on inquiry that the arrangements made by the Great Western Railway Company for conveyance of passengers during the holiday season at the commencement of August did not admit of their meeting the requirements of the 4th Volunteer Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. I am not aware that any other of the Volunteer battalions are similarly affected. I have no power to compel the company to carry these men at the reduced rates. An allowance will be made to the battalion mentioned for the march from Yeoford to Moreton Hampstead, a distance of twelve miles, where they will camp.