§ MR. BIGGAR
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether or not his attention has been called to certain reports in the Belfast newspapers in which are stated that the master of the Belfast Workhouse has been found guilty of about 130 serious 648 offences, under the Poor Law Regulations, within the last four years; whether he has been found guilty of receiving goods from contractors which were inferior to sample; whether or not he has been unable to account for the disappearance of 468¼ yards of linen from the workhouse; what steps, if any, the Local Government Board took, after an inquiry on oath, as to the missing goods; if it be true that the master orders and receives goods frequently without the knowledge or authority of the guardians; if it be true that leaves were torn from certain books of the union and destroyed respecting the missing linen; if it be true that the guardians of the Belfast Union have suspended the said master from duty three times, and is at present under suspension, on the grounds of incompetence and general misconduct, and that the Local Government Board have failed to confirm either of the suspensions; and, if it be compatible with efficient workhouse management for the Local Government Board to retain this gentleman in office in the face of the said several averments?
MR. W. E. FOESTER,
in reply, said, the conduct of the master of the Belfast Workhouse had for some time been under consideration, and was the subject of correspondence between the Local Government Board and the Board of Guardians as to his continuance in office. The result of the consideration of the Local Government Board would be communicated to the Board of Guardians at the next meeting, which would take place, he believed, this week. Under the circumstances, the hon. Member would see it would not be right for him to anticipate that decision.