HC Deb 25 May 1883 vol 279 cc892-3

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If he has seen the following statement in the Dublin papers of the 24th instant— Yesterday, at the weekly meeting of the Guardians, of Rathdown Union, Sir George Hodson, Bart, (chairman) resigned the chair, in consequence of the Report of Mr. Finlay, the auditor, on the recent surcharge, and the refusal of the Local Government Board to interfere in the matter; whether he is aware that Sir George Hodson has guided the business of the Union for forty-five years, and possesses the full confidence of the guardians and ratepayers; and, whether, as President of the Local Government Board, he will cause the offensive expressions of the auditor to be withdrawn?


Sir, I have seen the newspaper reports of the matter referred to. The Local Government Board informed me that the payment disallowed was wholly illegal; and the auditor was bound, in the fulfilment of his duty, to make the surcharge. The Local Government Board have no power to reverse the decision of the auditor. I am aware of the position so long occupied by Sir George Hodson in connection with the Union, and I am sure he possesses the full confidence of the Guardians and ratepayers. With regard to the alleged use of offensive expressions by the auditor, I cannot but think that there has been some misunderstanding which is capable of being removed. The Local Government Board, inform me that they imagine that Sir George Hodson and the Guardians did not clearly comprehend the purport of the letters which they received at their last meeting; and the Board will address the Guardians on the subject again before their next meeting.