MR. JUSTIN HUNTLY M'CARTHY
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is a fact that Mr. James Martin, clerk of Petty Sessions for Brawney and Athlone, was appointed inspector under the Explosives Act at a salary of £25 per year; whether the appointment was made in the usual manner, by public notice; whether the duties were confined to the inspection of three or four houses of the urban portion of the district in which some gunpowder was sold; whether the Town Commissioners of Athlone were appointed the local authority under the Act for the urban district in 1884; whether, there being no duties to perform in the rural district, the Home Secretary would direct the attention of the Justices to the impropriety of retaining the services of Mr. Martin, under the circumstances, at the Board of Guardians' 1058 expense, especially when the services of the Constabulary are available free of expense; and, whether he would obtain, for the Guardians' information, a Return showing the names of the persons licensed; the fees paid; the detailed expenses incurred for printing, books, and postage; and the orders of the Justices directing the manner in which the fees were to be applied?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir R. ASSHETON CROSS)
said, in reply, that the gentleman referred to had been appointed for some years, and they had no information at the Home Office as to the salary paid, that being a matter entirely relegated to the Local Authority. They were not aware whether public notice was given of the appointment in this particular case; there was hardly anything for the officer to do. There were only five cases registered in the district, and there were none outside. So far as the police were concerned, a Circular was issued by the Home Office in October, 1884, to which the Irish Government assented, stating that they might be nominated as explosive officers; but the Town Commissioners had not taken advantage of it.