asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it has come to his knowledge that Mr. H. D. Spratt, Chairman of the Mallow Board of Guardians, declined to receive a notice of motion in the following terms, proposed to be handed in by Mr. Thomas Barry, on the ground that it was not within the competence of a Poor Law Board:—?I will move, on this day fortnight, that it is most desirable that a measure establishing vote by ballot and abolishing proxy votes at the election of Poor Law Guardians, and substituting triennial for annual elections, should be passed by the Legislature this Session;whether it is outside the legitimate province of a Poor Law Board to pronounce upon legislative proposals which have a bearing on the efficacy of the machinery for administering the Poor Laws; and, whether, as President of the Local Government Board, he will cause an instruction to be conveyed to the Chairmen of Poor Law Boards for their guidance in the matter?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
Sir, I have had the Report of this matter before me. The Local Government Board consider that the Chairman of the Mallow Guardians committed an error of judgment, and I think a serious error of judgment, in declining to receive such a resolution. The subject is one in which Boards of Guardians are certainly justified in expressing an opinion. The Local Government Board do not feel called upon to interfere in the matter, as no complaint was made to them. I will communicate with the Local Government Board again, in order to ascertain 1484 whether there is any reason to suppose that other Chairmen are under a like misapprehension on the subject.