§ MR. SEXTON (Sligo, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with regard to the First Lord of the Treasury's Letter to Lord de Vesci, inviting information and expressions of opinion on certain Irish public questions, Whether he is aware that Count de la Poer, Chairman of the Clonmel Board of Guardians, Mr. William Malcolmson, Chairman of the Carrick-on-Suir Board of Guardians, and other chairmen of boards of guardians in Ireland, have prevented the boards over which they preside from responding to the invitation of the Prime Minister, by refusing to allow any Resolution to be moved on the subjects referred to in the Prime Minister's Letter; whether such Resolutions have been moved and carried at many meetings of Irish boards of guardians, and also at meetings of town councils, grand juries, and other 470 public bodies; whether Count de la Poer and Mr. William Malcolmson have also refused, at meetings of their respective boards, to allow guardians representing the interests of tenant farmers to offer a Resolution on the injury done to the agricultural class by the sale of butterine as butter; and, what steps will be taken to secure that no chairman shall prevent the board over which he presides from affording information requested by the head of the Government, or from dealing with questions regarded as concerning the interest of the ratepayers?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. JOHN MORLEY) (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
I am informed that the Chairmen of the Boards mentioned in the Question declined to put certain resolutions to their Boards. I do not know whether other Chairmen have acted similarly; but, of course, I am aware that other Boards of Guardians and public bodies have adopted similar resolutions. The Local Government Board are not informed as to what happened with respect to the resolution on the injury done to the agricultural class by the sale of butterine as butter. There is no power in the Local Government Board to compel Chairmen to put resolutions of the kind, nor do I think it would be advisable to seek such powers. Whatever action is advisable would appear to me to be in the hands of the Boards themselves.