HC Deb 11 March 1886 vol 303 cc437-8
MR. A. BLAINE (Armagh, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If he could state by what principle the Local Government Board were guided in distributing the £15,000 voted by Parliament, that in almost every case the clerks of unions received a sum equal to, if not greater, than the total amount paid to the collectors in each union combined, having due regard to the fact that the greater part of the work was performed by the rate collectors, and that the 73rd section of the Act of 1850 insured a further remuneration to clerks of unions always paid them, whilst heretofore rate collectors had none, though having performed the duty; whether in the Armagh Union the clerk received £44, in addition to the remuneration of the Act of 1850, whilst eight collectors received £49 amongst them; whether in the Lurgan Union the clerk received £99, and remuneration under the Act of 1850, whilst three collectors received £90; and, whether in the distribution of the additional £2,000 voted by Parliament the inequalities will as far as possible be adjusted?

MR. P. J. O'BRIEN (Tipperary, N)

Might I ask the right hon. Gentleman to include in his answer to my hon. Friend, whether he considers it just to the ratepayers to require them to supplement a Government grant insufficient for the services rendered; and, whether he will consider the propriety of having a further sum provided to discharge the amounts still remaining due to the rate collectors?


also asked, whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that Clerks of Unions were the only officers whose duties obliged them to provide assistants whom they had to pay out of their own salary; and, whether the additional work thrown on them by the late Act had not obliged them in each Union to employ such assistance to a very great extent?


In reply to the Question on the Paper, the principle adopted by the Local Government Board in the distribution of £15,000 for registration work was explained to the House by my hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury some nights ago. It is true that the Clerks of Unions usually receive sums about equal to the amount paid to the collectors; but this seems only fair, as they have to deal with all the names on the Registry from the districts of the collectors. As my hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury mentioned, collectors have in many cases received further remuneration for their work from the poor rates. The additional £2,000 voted by Parliament was for the payment of assistants to Clerks of the Peace, and no part of that money could be applied for other purposes. That, I think, meets the Question of the hon. Member. In reply to the other Questions, I must remind hon. Members that this was, after all, settled in the last Parliament, and it would be difficult now for us to overhaul the decision come to by Parliament after the passing of the Registration Act. I am informed that the average cost per head was considerably greater in Ireland than it was in Great Britain.