The SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT then moved the adoption of the recommendations for
(a) Pooling of Contracts; and
(b) Purchase of Labourers' Cottages by occupiers.
With regard to the Pooling of Contracts there should be a schedule of standard supplies compiled. The second item aimed at the establishment of a scheme whereby labourers would own their own cottages. This had the further merit that it would save money to the local Councils. He did not propose to move the recommendations for closing down Agricultural and Technical Committees at present. Neither did he propose to deal with the question of a National Medical Service.
The ACTING-PRESIDENT seconded the motion.
J.J. WALSH (Cork City) enquired what machinery would be available for dealing with the pooling of contracts. It would be necessary to establish contract centres in different parts of the country.
J. MACBRIDE (Mayo West) stated that the scheme for the pooling of contracts would be looked on with great suspicion in the country. It would be regarded as an attempt to favour Dublin trade.
The ACTING-PRESIDENT said that the scheme was one of the original proposals made by Sinn Fein in 1906. All the Poor Law Boards were then consulted in regard to the matter, and not one of them objected to it. If the contracts were pooled a great many new industries would be started in the country, as the guaranteeing of large orders was bound to encourage manufactures.
The SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT said that they had no machinery to enable the Local Authorities to carry out a scheme for the purchase of labourers' cottages unless a Decree was passed for the purpose. He suggested that they should adopt the motion with that reservation. A Decree would be brought in afterwards.
The motion was then put and carried.