HC Deb 31 July 1857 vol 147 cc811-2

said, he wished to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland Whether the Poor Law Commissioners for Ireland have come to any decision as to the legality or illegality of a paid Officer of a Union, and appointed a Magistrate, and thereby becoming an Ex-officio Guardian, taking part in the proceedings, and voting on questions affecting his conduct and remuneration; and whether there is any objection to laying on the Table of the House a Copy of the Correspondence between the Middleton Board of Guardians and the Poor Law Commissioners, upon the right of Dr. Barry to vote as an Ex-officio Guardian, he being one of the paid Officers of the Union?


said, in reply to the first inquiry, he had to observe that the question had not actually been raised before the Poor Law Commissioners in Ireland as regarded Officers of a Union generally, but with regard to a doctor of a Dispensary district who was a Magistrate, the question had been raised whether he had a right to sit as an Ex-officio Guardian; and the Poor Law Commissioners had given it as their opinion that he was legally entitled to sit as a Guardian; but that as a matter of propriety and decorum he ought not to vote on any question involving the management of his own Dispensary or the amount of his own salary. There was a clause in the English Poor Law Act prohibiting any party who received a salary out of the Poor Rates from voting as a Guardian; and it was a very serious question whether it would not be proper to extend that provision to Ireland. With regard to the second question, he had to state that there had been no communication in which Dr. Barry was named at all, that abstract questions had been put by the Clerk of the Middleton Union. If his hon. Friend moved for that paper, he should not object to its being laid on the Table.