HC Deb 14 August 1876 vol 231 cc1200-1

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, with reference to "The Dogs Regulation (Ireland) Act, 1868," For an explanation of the circumstances which led to the increase of the remuneration of petty sessions clerks out of the proceeds of the dog tax from £4,968 0s. 2d. in 1871 to £10,932 9s. 4d. in 1875; whether it is not a fact that in 1875 £13,700 of the proceeds of the tax went in expenses of administration (including salaries and remuneration) of the Act, leaving £18,300 for distribution in relief of borough or county rates; whether he will inquire into the possibility of reducing the expenses within narrower limits; and whether the registrar under the Act holds any other office of emolument under Government than the registrarship; and, if so, what the salary attached to such office amounts to?


Sir, in 1872 very strong representations were made to the Government by nearly all the benches of magistrates through- out Ireland pointing out the inadequate salaries paid to clerks of petty sessions under the Act of 1858, and how impossible it was to secure the services of competent clerks for such salaries. The clerks of petty sessions are county officers appointed by the magistrates and doing county work. The counties do not contribute any portion of their salaries, and it was, under these circumstances, considered a fair and legitimate application of a portion of the money received for the registration of dogs (which is collected by the clerks, and imposes on them very heavy additional labour and expense) to apply it to the increase of their remuneration. The amounts given in the second part of the Question are correct; but they include, in addition to the remuneration given to clerks of petty sessions, the very considerable expenses necessarily incurred under Sections 11 and 15 of the Act. The expenses could not be reduced except by reducing the payments to the clerks, and I should be very sorry to make such a proposal. The registrar under the Dogs Regulation Act (1865) is by the Act made to be the registrar under the Petty Sessions Clerks Act (1858) and the Fines Act (1851), and a third of his salary is made chargeable on the moneys realized under the Dogs Act.