HC Deb 10 May 1883 vol 279 cc391-2

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If he is aware that the Belfast Guardians agreed on the 24th of April 1883 to accept as "satisfactory" a written explanation from the workhouse master respecting the tampering with the books in his charge; if the Local Government Board have censured the guardians, by implication, by declining to confirm their resolution respecting the falsification of the books; if it be true that the Local Government Board have stated in a communication to the guardians that food has been charged in the master's books, as having been supplied to paupers, who were not inmates of the workhouse on the particular dates shown in said books; if it be correct that, by this system of book-keeping, large surpluses of certain articles of food were created which were not credited on the provision book; and, whether, after considering the letter of the Local Government Board, he will continue in office the officials so acting?


It is the case that on the 24th of April the Belfast Guardians received an explanation from the workhouse master respecting the manner in which the diet books had been kept, and that they unanimously resolved that they considered it satisfactory. The Local Government Board, on learning this, informed the Guardians that they did not consider it altogether satisfactory, as it was the duty of the master to report to the Guardians any departure from the approved scale of dietary, and they requested that the matter should be further inquired into, which was done by the Visiting Committee, who made a Report on the subject, and gave directions as to the manner in which the books should be kept in future. The imperfect manner in which the books were formerly kept has met with the necessary attention. The Local Government Board inform me that there is no ground for supposing that fraud was intended or committed, and there is no reason why the officers concerned should not be retained in office.