§ MAJOR O'BEIRNE
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If the Local Government Board have directed their attention to a Return of the salaries paid and allowances of every kind made to chaplains in workhouses in Ireland, from which Re-turn it appears that the greatest inequality exists in the salaries paid to the Roman Catholic and Protestant chaplains respectively, to the undue advantage of Protestant chaplains, having regard to the number of paupers of each religious denomination and the amount of work performed by their respective chaplains; and, has the Local Government Board any intention of recommending Poor Law guardians to adopt some other method, either by a capitation grant or otherwise, that will remunerate more equitably chaplains of workhouses?
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
Sir, the Local Government Board have sent in 421 the Beturn to which the hon. and gallant Member refers, and I am sorry to say I have not been able to give it as much consideration as I could wish. The principle on which the chaplains should be paid was laid down in the Eighth Order of the Poor Law Commissioners in 1842, and I found that since that there have been alterations; but I believe entirely in the increase of appointments of Catholic chaplains and not the decrease of Protestant chaplains. I do not know whether further cases of reduction are required or not, but I will inquire if it be so. With regard to the payment by capitation grant, I must remind my hon. and gallant Friend that if a service has to be performed it takes as much time to perform it for a small number as for a large one.
§ MR. A. M. SULLIVAN
asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether he has as yet been able to give attention to the state of facts revealed by the Returns laid before the late Parliament on the subject of Protestant Chaplains in Irish Workhouses and Catholic Chaplains in English Workhouses; and, whether he intends to take any and what steps to remedy the striking contrasts thereby disclosed?
Sir, I have not had time to examine the details given in the Report in question. The hon. and learned Member, however, is undoubtedly aware that there is no power in the Guardians in England to appoint Roman Catholic chaplains in workhouses. I may add that in several cases in which there have been considerable numbers of Roman Catholic paupers in a workhouse, and the Guardians have been willing to appoint and pay a Roman Catholic priest to give religious instruction, the Department has readily assented to the arrangement.
§ MR. A. M. SULLIVAN
asked the right hon. Gentleman, Whether he will consider the advisability of assimilating the law in this respect in England to that which prevails in Ireland, where the Local Government Board has power to compel the appointment of chaplains for the paupers, irrespective of their religion?