HC Deb 02 March 1885 vol 294 cc1762-3

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether his attention has been called to certain letters published in The Civilian newspaper of 10th January, 1885, and of other dates, reflecting upon the official character and conduct of Mr. Robert Barnes, collector of Inland Revenue, Warrington; whether, at the recent inspection of books in the Warrington "collection," Mr. Barnes asked each officer (inter alia) the following questions:—(1.) Do you read The Civilian; (2.) Did you see the letters reflecting on my conduct; (3.) Did you write any of them; (4.) Do you know anyone who did; and another question intended to elicit whether the officers in question agreed with the tone of the letters; whether, in holding this inquisition, Mr. Barnes has exceeded the bounds of official duties; and, whether any, and, if so, what steps will be taken in the direction of admonishing Mr. Barnes as to his duty in the future?


The Board of Inland Revenue, who are responsible for the discipline of their Department, inform me that it is not their practice to take any action upon anonymous newspaper attacks upon their officers, such as those referred to by the hon. Member. But they add that if any signed and specific charges are laid before them against Mr. Barnes, or any other officer of theirs, they will at once investigate the case.