HC Deb 09 April 1875 vol 223 c602

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether his attention has been called to an appointment recently made by the Board of Northern Lighthouses to the secretary-ship to that Board; whether an attempt or attempts had been made by that Board, or some of its members, prior to the resignation of the last secretary, to obtain the sanction of the Board of Trade to a larger salary than had hitherto been paid in the case of newly appointed secretaries; whether, during the absence on various occasions of the last secretary his duty was satisfactorily performed by another official of the Board, who was a candidate for the appointment; and, whether there were any reasons for appointing to the office an advocate of no experience in the work, and overlooking the claims of an experienced servant?


Sir, my attention has been called to this subject by the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, who have reported to me that they have recently filled up the vacancy in the office of secretary, caused by the retirement, after 49 years' service, of Mr. Cuningham. Prior to that gentleman's retirement, the Commissioners endeavoured to induce the Board of Trade to increase the salary of future secretaries beyond the amount which the Board had recommended. The amount recommended by the Board of Trade and the amount desired by the Commissioners were both in advance of the salary paid to Mr. Cuningham when first appointed secretary. The Commissioners inform me that during the absence of the secretary, the routine business of the office was done by one of the clerks, but the duties of the office of secretary were not discharged by the official referred to in the Question. The Commissioners state that a large majority of them considered the gentleman recently appointed to possess the highest qualifications in every respect for the office, and it was their act not appointing the official referred to.